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“Royal Flush”

…poverty can be viewed as a consequence of the exclusionary and expropriating aspects of long-term processes of capitalist transformation.

—David Mosse

Artistic impact can be contemplated in a multitude of ways; however it can be argued that none is greater or longer lasting than contextually in which works take place. The work Royal Flush is a result and extension of the research involved in a paper written by this artist in April of 2021 called The Neoliberalist Poverty Construction: Explanations for Foreign Aid Failures, which uses a developmental examination as well as dependency theory to analyse the structurally and systemically constructed micro and macro wealth inequalities that drive global poverty, through which said poverty cannot be solved via those very inequality designing methods. Not explored within that paper is the greatly impactful connection between climate change and neoliberal globalization, or core country and global elite benefiting inflation of capitalist interests that act on a global level to relax state controls, increase privatization, eradicate local industries, expand outside state or non-government organization backing, outsource governmental accountabilities, back productions beneficial to external corporate or political desires, as well as grow importations with global trade, investments, and finance (Hussain, 14-19). Royal Flush therefore expands this analysis of the problematic global economic landscape to its resulting overuse and overextraction of resources, as well as the pollution which ensues, which pilot the climate crisis. As supported by Marcus Bussey in Toilet Futures: Sustainability, Scenarios and Climate Change Futures, a western toilet is utilized in this work as “a symbol of (western/pure) culture” (1), which not only represents the developed western ideal (6), but unsustainable cultural inclinations related to the issues of neoliberal globalization. The tank of the toilet, typically filled with water as a replenishing resource, is instead filled with the fallen debris of urban trees identified as being under threat by climate change (Briggs). This debris, along with the rim of the tank, toilet seat, and further debris surrounding the work are painted with mirror gold to underpin artificiality in capitalistic value systems. Finally, emanating from the tank and through the bowl is a soundscape of western commercials, transforming the toilet into an instrument within neoliberalist globalization. In total this work demands query over the relationship between sustainability and extreme capitalistic inequalities


Work Cited

Briggs, Helen. “Climate Change Threatens Health and Survival of Urban Trees.” BBC News, Sept. 2022,

Bussey, Marcus. “Toilet Futures: Sustainability, Scenarios and Climate Change Futures.” Journal of Futures Studies, vol. 19, no. 3, 1 Mar. 2015, pp. 1–12., .

Hussain, Matt M. “Who Reaps the Benefit? – Dual Hegemony and the Politics of Development Aid in Bangladesh.” Electronic Theses and Dissertations , 2008, doi:

Robertson, Vana E. “The Neoliberalist Poverty Construction: Explanations for Foreign Aid Failures.” University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, 7 Apr. 2021.

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