Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guerrilla Gardening...the ladies love it *wink*

The guerrilla gardening website was a little bit offputting for me, honestly. First of all the language employed by the site itself. Join a "cell," interact with other "troops." I couldn't decide whether an essentially pacifist endeavor appropriating the language of war was inspired or totally misguided. When I hear "guerrilla," "troop," and "cell," what comes to mind is not an organization that has an online shop selling lavender pillows and coats, with an accompanying Facebook page. 

The "Troop Digs" page that included pictures and testimonials from the “troops” was unintentionally hilarious, as it seemed chock-full of pictures of white, seemingly well-off people from developed countries who are "saving the world." (Or picking up ladies, as implied by one glowing testimonial). A couple of women wrote in horrified language of how they were mistaken for being homeless as they snuck in under the cover of the night to plant some flowers. Of course, I'm assuming these testimonials were chosen from a larger group, which brings into question what the GG organizers are going for, and who this is being aimed at...

After looking at the site I thought about what Dale had said in a previous class, that even if the design is offputting, simplistic and privileged, does it actually inspire more legitimate and effective change than a depressing Op-ed. I tried to think about this website in those terms, and I still don't see how the kind of activities these people are doing would be very effective. Planting flowers everywhere? Yeah, it makes things pretty, but… I can't help it overwhelming feeling this is privileged people who are assuaging their guilt in ways that don't really make lasting change.

No comments: