A World Astir|Jun 8, 2013 4:04 AM| by:

Take Back your City with Paint

Edi Rama is the Mayor of Tirana, the capital of Albania. In other words, he is a politician. And he’s here to prove that not all politicians are the same. No, that’s not the main subject of his talk, but once you hear him and see examples of his work, you will realise how bankrupt the world is of this particular breed of politicians. Edi Rama tells us about the changes he brought in the capital city with the use of colours. He made it more beautiful, modern, safe all with the stroke of a brush. And what he imparts is what we all have experienced to some extent – the play of beauty on shaping our thoughts, our lives. India of the past was extraordinary for the attention to detail in every thing she created and one could see the care paid to aesthetics from sculptures in temples to something as basic as a lock and key. City planning, drainage, administration… all of it was polished to an extent which today we find quite unbelievable. And yet, if it was possible then, why not now? Why are we regressing in this aspect? Why are we tending more towards squalor and chaos instead of light and beauty? Our sense of aesthetics has all but disappeared, replacing natural, simple, pleasing concepts with garish on the one hand and drab on the other. The average mind has become reflective of what it’s surrounded by; it is as dead and dense as the blocks of cements around it. Which is why we need our own Edi Rama’s. Not only to bring colour back in our buildings but in our lives, in our communities, in our sense of well being. We need that freshness in our politicians. We need them to stop looking at things in greys and instead be multicoloured in their visions. Edi Rama’s colour schemes may not suit everyone but it is not the colour – it is the brush stroke, the idea, which is the true harbinger of change.

(Thank you TED for this talk)