Over the past few months, I have been researching cultural appropriation. I had an idea of what it was before, since we talked a bit about it in my writing class, but I never really had a deep enough understanding of it. I looked at how cultural appropriation affects the arts, since I believe it is important for everybody to see themselves represented in art in a meaningful way. I also looked at difference between appropriation and appreciation, to understand how to apply this concept to my own work, and to work towards an answer to my question.
My research has really changed the way I look at the world, and how I look at art. From now on, whenever I read, watch, hear, or look at something that represents the themes of race and culture, I really think deeply about it. I have come to understand the true definition of cultural appropriation, and where to draw the “fine line” as I discussed in my research.
This project will also continue to affect the decisions I make in the future, especially in terms of creative work. I think this project has made me more socially conscious (I was very socially conscious to begin with, but it helped reinforce what that means to me) and more aware of how others would feel about work I produce. I feel I have gained a new understanding of how to create art that represents people in a way that is respectful and dignified, which is ultimately what I believe artists should strive to do.
The knowledge I’ve gained can, I hope, impact others around me in a positive way. First off, I want to help future generations to be more understanding of this concept - since children and youth are so impressionable, it is important to teach them about how people should be represented and treated with respect when it comes to art. Especially, I would hope other artists can learn to be respectful when producing art, know the difference between appreciation and appropriation, and to just be more aware of how they’re treating people in general.
I hope everybody who followed my posts enjoyed reading my work, and got something out of it. Thank you to those who took the time to read my research, who helped me with ideas, and who commented and asked questions to help me take my research further.
I will be working on a way to creatively present my new knowledge, so stay tuned!