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jerryking : cultural_appropriation   6

Opinion | What Does It Mean to ‘Look Like Me’?
Sept. 21, 2019 | The New York Times | By Kwame Anthony Appiah. Mr. Appiah is a philosopher.

Minorities can find it gratifying to see people who resemble them on-screen. But resemblance is a tricky thing........It’s a formula that we turn to again and again to affirm the value of inclusion, especially in the realm of popular culture: the importance of people who “look like me.”......The “look like me” formula appeals because it feels so simple and literal. We can think of a black or Asian toddler who gets to play with dolls that share her racial characteristics, in an era when Barbie, blessedly, is no longer exclusively white. The emotions it speaks to are real, and urgent. And yet the celebratory formula is trailed by jangling paradoxes, like tin cans tied to a newlywed’s car.......For one thing, nobody means it literally. Asians don’t imagine that all Asians look alike; blacks don’t think all blacks look alike.....What the visual metaphor usually signifies, then, is a kinship of social identity. ....the complexities don’t end there. When it comes to representation, two cultural conversations are happening at the same time. One is about “speaking our truths” — about exploring in-group cultural commonalities......e.g. the cultural conversation put on by comedians whose jokes you “get” — the in-group references that resonate with you, that trigger a knowing “nailed it!” smile......That’s one way of “looking like me.”.......What films like Crazy Rich Asians and Black Panther deliver is a way of “looking like me” that’s as much about aspiration as identification. We say that their characters look like us; maybe what we mean is that we wish to look like them.....What these fantasies ask is, Who gets to tell you what you look like? It’s not a representation of identity so much as it is a renegotiation of it.......How identity relates to identification is, of course, a complicated matter.........The truth is that our best stories and songs often gain potency by complicating our received notions of identity; they’re less a mirror than a canvas — and everyone has a brush. It takes nothing away from the thrill of feeling represented, then, to point out what the most ambitious forms of art and entertainment are always telling us: Don’t be so sure what you look like.
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How did children develop self-worth and an identity before movies and tv? People have to stop looking to mass and social media for self-esteem.
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The trouble is that racial and ethnic iconography, including color, eye shape, nose length etc . govern our responses to people the second we see them.
cultural_appropriation  cultural_conversations  culture  emotional_connections  identity_politics  inclusiveness  Kwame_Appiah  paradoxes  popular_culture  representation  self-identification  self-worth  visible_minorities  visual_cues 
25 days ago by jerryking
Caribbean food seems to be the latest cultural commodity available for plunder
October 1, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ANDRAY DOMISE.

.....Diluted and stripped of its ancestral link to survival and resistance, with "modern twists" added to improve our base and unenlightened cuisine, Caribbean food seems to be the latest cultural commodity available for plunder......Dozens of amazing Caribbean restaurants have lived out their quiet struggle in Toronto for decades, dotting the landscape throughout the inner suburbs in Scarborough, Rexdale, and Eglinton West. There's Rap's, the jerk chicken and patty shop where my mother would take me for lunch after a haircut at Castries barbershop. There's Albert's, a landmark at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Vaughan Road. And there's the world famous back-ah-yard restaurant The Real Jerk, owned by Ed and Lily Pottinger, who have dealt with the worst of neighbourhood gentrification and real estate discrimination that Toronto has to offer.....But the concept of an "amazing Jamaican restaurant in Toronto," proffered by a restaurateur who has visited my ancestral home a few times, and who intends to package the culture in a fashion true to the brand of a downtown gastro-chain doesn't fill me with hope.
Caribbean  cuisine  cultural_appropriation  Toronto  food  Andray_Domise  exploitation  appreciation  restaurants  restauranteurs  inner_suburbs  parochialism 
october 2017 by jerryking
In Defense of Cultural Appropriation - The New York Times
Kenan Malik JUNE 14, 2017

What is cultural appropriation, and why is it so controversial? Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University, defines it as “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.” This can include the “unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.”

Appropriation suggests theft, and a process analogous to the seizure of land or artifacts. In the case of culture, however, what is called appropriation is not theft but messy interaction. Writers and artists necessarily engage with the experiences of others. Nobody owns a culture, but everyone inhabits one, and in inhabiting a culture, one finds the tools for reaching out to other cultures.

Critics of cultural appropriation insist that they are opposed not to cultural engagement, but to racism. They want to protect marginalized cultures and ensure that such cultures speak for themselves, not simply be seen through the eyes of more privileged groups
appreciation  culture  cultural_appropriation 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Ongoing Economic Exploitation of Black Music | Dr. Lisa Tomlinson
Cultural Critic and Language Specialist
Email
The Ongoing Economic Exploitation of Black Music
Posted: 01/08/2016
African-Americans  Caribbean  culture  cultural_appropriation  cultural_criticism  exploitation  music_industry  music 
january 2016 by jerryking

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