I fear that recent discussions concerning cultural appropriation are facilitated by conservative agents who seek to incapacitate the formation of disruptive alliances across classes. The winners in discussion concerning cultural appropriation are monolith modernist (record companies, museums & patent holders) seeking to establish specific technologies, protocols of communication and cultural signs as the property of specific human groups, institutions and corporations. I fear that in some cases the advocation of indigenous rights is used as a way to celebrate eurocentric nationalistic politics, worldviews and values.
My reason for these fears is that currently “identity” is discussed as a form of property. This is evident in cases where symbols and signs associated to a specific group are violently monetized by non-group members. In the aftermath of these events discussions concentrate on the fact that non-group members should not use symbols that don’t belong to them. Unfortunately these discussions seldom engage with the fact that there are markets for the techniques specific groups use to represent themselves! These markets are presented as a non-issue, even though they are the reason for processes which quantify marginal cultures and are delegating the right to stake a claim to an identity to those who have capital.
If there is property (in the form of styles, genes or birth rights), capital will find a way to assume control of it. If there is something to sell, someone will sell out. We are already seeing craftspeople and artists developing works which use indigenous styles but fit into the logic of the markets. The same happened with hip-hop! Identity should not be discussed as a form property. I believe the best way to counteract these developments is to destabilize the concept of identity and to de-demarcate the sites creative practices – To root it while studying class as network and as something situated. To celebrate, borrow, loan and share styles the deprived across classes share. The next revolution should be aesthetic and pluralistic.
Librem 5: “A phone for the people by the people”. The company name “Purism” has a nasty ring to it.