Is This Appropriate? Where Does the Homage End and the Parody Begin? - Musings on Cultural Appropriation
Popularised in avant-garde 20th century fine art, appropriation was seen as a transgressive act by those in a less powerful position to use and misuse the signs and language of the dominant elite. Today, cultural appropriation means to take a historically oppressed group's customs, practices, ideas, etc. without authorization at the cost of stereotyping and erasing their cultural heritage. Cultural appropriation functions within a power imbalance. It also takes freely without experiencing the discrimination felt by the influence’s cultural bearers. In 2022, cultural appropriation can no longer be veiled behind the guise of art. It is a form of neo-colonialism and part of our complicated inheritance as members of the field of dance.
This session offers an exchange on the nuances of cultural appropriation, experienced through the frame of Joana Tischkau’s 'Colonastics' (2020), a sweaty work-out that promises to decolonise your body, mind and spirit. In collaboration with dance artist and movement facilitator Amelia Uzategui the two are inviting participants to find a playful engagement with stereotypes of whiteness and practices of cultural erasure to contribute to a new dance-fitness phenomenon that sources contemporary cultural references from white dance, thus adding to a discourse of fake liberation. Afterwards, facilitated small group discussions will be led using examples from theory, art, and popular culture.