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Lesson Plans


Re: CELEBRATING PLURALISM and appropriation.

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
EVasso
Tue, 11 Feb 1997 19:25:47 -0500 (EST)

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In a message dated 97-02-11 00:18:41 EST, Bekalex (Becky
Alexander) writes:

<< Most of the world
today seems to share a common culture. Industry, commercialization and
communication technologies are minimizing true cultural differences as we
have understood them (I did not say they are obsolete!) >>

Becky,

I do not believe that this statement is true.,

To "share" something implies a sense of equality...some good for you...some
good for me. As long as there are inequalities among nations, peoples and
culture, then sharing becomes problematic. Where are the museums in Africa
that display the stolen artifacts of Europe and North America? Exactly what
Arab explorer looted the buriel tombs of France, Germany or England?

In spite of this (maybe because of this) indigenous peoples hold on to their
cultures and traditions. All cultures have not become the same. Exactly
what and where is this common world culture? While all human beings share
some cultural attributes, differences persist. Cultures are unique...and
they have a context. That is the point that has been made here. How do we
teach and learn about other cultures in context, a context that is not white
and eurocentric?

While it is certainly true that European artists such as Picasso and
Kandinsky "appropriated" African forms, they did just that: lifted the formal
aspects of the work and ignored the cultural context.

For art teachers to treat this as something other than a problem to be
wrestled with, to treat it as something other than a dilemma, is, itself,
cause for concern.

-Fred


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