Tag: Cultural Appropriation

Jamaica wants reggae inscribed on UNESCO’s cultural heritage list


Few music genres have had a considerable global impact as reggae. Reggae grew from its roots in Jamaica to influence societies and other musical forms across the world. In Africa in particular, reggae has apparently contributed to the development of counter-cultural movements.   Seen as the sound of the oppressed and a tool through which… Read More

Beyoncé gets caught in cultural appropriation debate

Beyonce in Coldplay video

Every year, it seems at least one celebrity finds themselves on the wrong side of the cultural appropriation debate. We have seen Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry and others accused of culturally appropriating other cultures, that is borrowing aspects of cultures that are not theirs without giving respect to the origin of the style choice.… Read More

Native American actors walk off Adam Sandler movie set

Some believe that we should regard no subject or topic as sacred when it comes to comedy; the benefits of the ability to apply parody and satire outweigh the drawbacks. With this mindset comes a dilemma: at what point do we stop making a statement, and just start exploiting these topics?   Several Native American… Read More

The scramble for African art: Appreciation or appropriation?

Toward the end of the 19th century, European powers scavenged the African continent to establish and secure political power. Throughout the Scramble for Africa, European colonizers carved borders into the continent with no consideration of local geography or culture.   The European division of African ethnic groups into African states resulted in political instability and civil… Read More

Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” Video: Artful or Offensive?

Taylor Swift has done it again! She has released a song that is so remarkably catchy even the hipsters will hate to love it. Swift released the music video for “Shake it Off” last week, and has already topped the Billboard charts and set records. Although some cannot stand the county gone pop singer, it… Read More

Cultural Appropriation is Not Fashionable: Why You Should Skip the Festival Bindis and Headdresses

Time and time again, designers, singers, and celebrities make headlines by taking things of value from other cultures and turn them into trendy accessories to be forgotten by next season. Some call this behavior “cultural appreciation,” however, when these actions are based off of stereotypes, their effects are harmful. The act of appropriating commodifies people’s… Read More