Develop - Don’t Destroy [Media]. Media(te).
Daniel Goldstein. Battle for Brooklyn.
I just watched a documentary called Battle for Brooklyn, on tv. (usually when I am home alone, I never even turn the tv on, but for some reason today, I felt like it. And I am happy I did, as it was right in time to watch this feaure. (…I guess good things can come out of TV sometimes J
So the documentary is about the power struggle between a neighborhood community in Brooklyn and a development called ‘the Atlantic Yards’ by Bruce Ratner’s real estate/development company that threatens to destroy it. The film gives a fascinating look into politics, big business, the judicial system, grassroots communities and activism. It exposes the frailty of individual rights and the tremendous courage to stand up for them. But what made it even more special for me, was the fact that the star of the documentary, and the man at the forefront of the fight, was by profession, a graphic designer. I absolutely loved that.
There is a lot to learn from Goldstein (and of course the rest of the team on ‘Develop-don’t destroy) – they are extraordinary human beings; the choices they make; their focus, and purpose. Their voluntary efforts have produced a 7 year halt on the development, and despite the corporation winning the fight in the end, and many of the long dwelling community members and establishment uprooted, this fight, left a lot exposed about the state of democracy today.
It’s fascinating to me personally to think what was happening to me in my life as this great battle was going on. (in fact it makes me think of other battles that were and are going on now..). And it’s incredible that as their fight was reaching its end, in May 2010, I was in my second year at graphic design school, finishing up (branding) work on a project that I believed should exist in this world. It was a project that I believe should exist now and always. I thought of an organization called MEDIATE, an independent network that campaigns for quality mainstream news, that educates about and exposes the current events in all sectors of human life, everywhere in the world, and that puts on the spot those news/media outlets that do not show the truth, or hide the truth, or are pretty much not giving quality in their reportage.
Media is at the core of democracy. Communal efforts cannot happen if the world community/comm. at large is not aware or informed. Bottom-line, we as citizens, can never exercise the full rights of a democratic society without knowledge and information, and it is the duty of the media- mainstream media – to inform, expose, and show.
What this documentary showed, besides the hackneyed corporate greed and cracks in political and judicial establishments, is the lack of connect between such issues and media coverage. In fact, the doco ended with the notion that had the Media done its job properly the fight would have been fair.
I admire Daniel Goldstein and the movement for their fervent quest for justice. It reignites that fire within me, as a designer, to give voice to that which needs to be heard and seen loudly; reminding me why I wanted to be a designer in the first place.
I would love to see an organization like MEDIATE exist in real life, even more after seeing this doco, because it can make a huge difference to society, as far as justice is concerned. If MEDIATE were a person, it would be Daniel Goldstein.
These are some of the ads I’d developed back in 2010 for my project.
Battle for Brooklyn premiered July 15, 2012 on ABC Australia.
GINGER ROOT SCULPTURE
Sunshine after a rainy day.
Sunshine after a rainy day.
chocolate covered yumminess.