In an opinion article of The Stanford Daily on the 12th of October of 2015, Mina Shah makes ‘an argument for non-intervention’. Now, clearly she is speaking about US military intervention, but it gives some interesting insights into the challenges of interventionist practices. More than bashing on the negative effects of ‘interventions’, she highlights the benefits of ‘non intervention’ (again, in military terms in US context):
There are plenty of examples of times when intervention didn’t work (see all the citations in the first fully-fleshed out paragraph), but perhaps what we need in addition to that are some examples of times when non-intervention did work. Maybe, just maybe, if military leaders can be shown both that intervention is ineffective andthat non-intervention is effective, we can get our military to calm the heck down.
Is this relevant for art & design interventions? Is there an argument for non-intervention in art & design contexts? As much as I am against many interventionist endeavors (particularly military), in these cases we have to look closely into the ‘context’. Who is intervening where? Which powers are on play? And, most importantly -not only what are the benefits of non-intervention, but what is the cost of ‘not doing’ (e.g. if there is a gentrification process underway and no action is taken, what are the effects of this inaction?)?