Articles on Cultural appropriation

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The Rolling Stones performing in Hamburg during the ‘No Filter’ European tour: the band’s legacy is entwined with the pioneers of black American music. Morris Mac Matzen/Reuters

Friday essay: the art of the pinch – popular music and appropriation

Pinching musical phrases and stylistic approaches has always been a part of art making and can be a respectful exchange. But shallow, ill-informed appropriation only perpetuates tired stereotypes.
When does parody spill into insensitive cultural appropriation? While Chris LIlley is probably OK to appropriate the upper North Shore culture of Ja’mie (pictured), he’s on dodgier ground with Jonah from Tonga. Princess Pictures, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Home Box Office (HBO)

Permission to laugh? Humour without risk of danger and offence would be an emaciated thing

In our pursuit of a world that is safely and entirely OK, must humour be cleansed of its original sin of cultural appropriation and insensitivity? It depends whether we are 'laughing up' or 'laughing down'.
A souvenir stand in the Canary Islands displaying boomerangs (on the right). fabcom/flickr

Indigenous cultural appropriation: what not to do

The production of fake First Nations art is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cultural appropriation. From 'didge therapy' to the overuse of words like 'deadly' here's a (subjective) guide to what to avoid.
Model Adriana Lima walks the stage in “Nomadic Adventure” lingerie “inspired by indigenous African cultures,” at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show in Shanghai on Nov. 20. (Handout)

Victoria’s Secret does it again: Cultural appropriation

At Victoria's Secret recent fashion show on Nov. 20, models strutted down the runway wearing Native-inspired regalia. There is no excuse for this socially irresponsible behaviour.
Two young Brazilian men at a carnival street party in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro wearing traditional Indigenous feathers. (Shutterstock)

A guide: Think before you appropriate

Taking a practical and pragmatic approach by posing a series of questions to consider, this summary of the IPinCH guide unpacks important questions about cultural appropriation.
Dwayne Jonson will voice the character of Maui in upcoming Disney film Moana. Disney

Explainer: why blackface (and brownface) offend

Furores over blackface happen with disturbing regularity in Australia. To help explain why blackface is more than a simple case of harmless parody - or even honouring your hero - we must understand its harmful history.
Lionel Shriver in 2014: her keynote address at the Brisbane Writers Festival on cultural appropriation has unleashed a torrent of opinion. Dean Lewins/AAP

Lionel Shriver and the responsibilities of fiction writers

Lionel Shriver's controversial speech about cultural appropriation has made headlines around the world. But the debate need not be a binary one – novelists might approach characters from other cultures as 'thoughtful tourists'.
The figure of the ‘noble savage’ has deep roots in Australia colonialism. Shipwreck of the Stirling Castle, John Curtis, 1838.

Explainer: the myth of the Noble Savage

Liberal MP Dennis Jensen's comments about the 'noble savage' lifestyle tap into a centuries-old stereotype about Indigenous people.
Why should African graduates be honoured with a Latin song when the continent has plenty of its own music and ways of celebrating? Direct Relief/Flickr

Why Gaudeamus igitur has no place at graduations in African universities

A Latin song takes centre stage at graduation ceremonies around the world, including in South Africa. Isn't it time the continent used its own methods to celebrate major events?

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