Artistic Thinking In Development, a sight towards to Development and Sustainable Pratice?

By interviewing experts and academics, Lumack addresses the gap between literature that focuses on abstract and conceptual ideas of Development. The interview questions were formulated under a post-colonial approach, with a focus on environmental concerns. Interviews were the guide for this research and are the basis for the analysis. Mainly to explore the role of Art as a form of social imagination, the challenges of daily work in agencies, studies and development activities. This thesis seeks answers to the differences between instrumentalized art and art as a research method. The hypothesis was analyzed with mixed methods, after conducting semi-structured interviews with experts from different areas of International Development. Academic representatives and stakeholders shared their experience on how Development urges new approaches to Development policies and studies. The cases reported by the interviewees relate the role of the arts and exemplify how creative thinking promotes social imagination in a transmodern, Decolonial and sustainable scenario.

This research has been driven by the curiosity to understand why artistic professionals are not included in Development organizations. And to investigate the hypothesis described, where a creative mindset and abstract thinking within those organizations could help in bridging complex matters such as environmental crises and social movements. The literature consulted provided the conceptual ideas in relation to what Development is, and what are the current challenges to it. It also explored Art concepts and perspectives. The research did not present a specific case for conducting the study, but rather collected professional experiences and points of views to allow space for thinking around the connections between creativity, art practice and Development today. The research demonstrated perceptions of how arts is considered within the Development organizations, under a decolonial perspective, both conceptual and philosophical, by extracting ideas from members of the Development professional sector. The hypothesis is that, by including arts in the core of the “traditional Development making” it would allow imagination to enhance Development practices. I suggest that imagining a different social world may help reveal aspects of our world we take for granted even though it would be best not to. Art, in the humanist sense, has been increasingly used to press culture in a particular direction, here I borrow the term instrumentalized art. It is promoted as a provider to economic Development, raising the growth of an economically productive creative class. In the process, its critical and transcendent potential has been pulled apart. While such instrumentalization might help artists in the short run, it also poses a danger to the ultimate social role of the arts. International Development accentuates tendencies of generating policies around the concept of a “creative class”, and the use of the arts, only as a tool of economic growth.

To correlate the world of academics, actors and agents in development with abstract thinking such as art, I have applied mixed methods, investigating that hypothesis, by quantifying specialists' experiences (analysing at their case reports), and qualifying the correlation by their views and the literature. This analysis explored the means by which art can act as an existential catalysis proving ways of changing modes of relation beyond traditional modes of representations and doing so, a Development transformation. As counter-epistemology of Development, art recognizes the plurality of heterogeneous knowledge and highlights the dynamic interconnections that exist between them.

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