Monday, March 21, 2011

blog post 9: greek ideals, colonial victories

image credits:,,,,
this diagram illustrates the influence of greek ideals on colonial trends to and from the united states.  at the heart of the diagram you'll find athena nike (seen in a relief carving from the parapet of the athena nike temple at the acropolis).  these days, mention nike to most anyone around the globe and visions of air jordan or the "just do it" swoosh will likely come to mind before the goddess.  but the ideal still stands: victory... at any cost.  and in the case of the nike corporation, many have judged the poor working conditions and human rights violations characteristic of nike's overseas factories to be nothing short of neocolonialism: capitalist victory at any cost.  

working back, a glance at the athena nike temple will elicit a sense of deja vu for most americans who have experienced the greek revival architectural style that has held sway in our landscape since the beginning of our colonial history.  the columns, symmetry, portico, and entablature... it all translates to strength and harmony.  in the case of the athena nike temple itself, the architecture lets us know about the powerful ambition of athens.  doesn't it seem appropriate then, that a country with loads of power and ambition would choose to model it's homes after such an archetype?  

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Mira, I think this is a great illustration and analysis of the Nike symbol and how it is used today yet relates to previous times. Great job!