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This week we're talking about cultural appropriation, cultural adaption and adoption, also stereotypes and all sorts of related stuff. It was inspired by a newspost from Tantz discussing the recent live action Mulan movie by Disney. Cultural appropriation is when you take an aspect that is sacred or important to one culture and own it yourself: decontextualising it, stripping it off it's meaning, making a cartoon version of it, commodifying it, commercialising or cheapening it in some other way.
But not all borrowing from cultures is “appropriation”. Cultures mix and share things all the time quite freely and a lot of things that were once appropriated have long been mixed into a made a part of the adopting culture so they're as much of that culture now as anything else… Things like Yoga, which was a part of scared religious practices, was long ago appropriated and turned into an exercise fad. It's part of western culture now.
There's a power relationship involved: a community in a more dominant cultural position doesn't generally mind others “appropriating” aspects of their culture because their culture is everywhere. A community in a less dominant role usually does mind a lot because that's usually the only cultural identity they have, so stealing and misrepresenting it becomes an attack on their existence.
It's also extremely important to remember that you shouldn't really speak for another culture about appropriation. We can inform people that their cultural borrowing could possibly be an issue but it's not our place to criticise someone for appropriation and appoint ourselves as guardians and protectors of another group for two reasons: 1. That's paternalistic an dis-empowering to the people you're speaking for, 2. It might not be a case of appropriation at all, only they can speak for themselves whether it is or not.
The musical feature this week that Gunwallace has given us is theme to the Good Words with Sako, the Beautiful Heart of a Steggo Girl - A quiet, thoughtful, toe-tapper. This is a jazzy little techno number, bouncing away with a cool repeating theme. It’s gentle, intelligent, and elegant in its simplicity. Very Gorillaz.
Topics and shownotes
Tantz's newspost on cultural appropriation and Mulan - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/sep/25/cultural-significance/
The Impossible Family - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2020/sep/22/featured-comic-the-impossible-family/
Good Words with Sako, the Beautiful Heart of a Steggo Girl - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Good_Words_With_Sako__The_Beautiful_Heart_of_a_Steggo_Girl/, by KaijuKid, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Pitface - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
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