Cultural Appropriation - Page 2


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Thread: Cultural Appropriation

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Escribo View Post
    Looking at it the other way round, if a Swede wrote a story set in ancient Stonehenge, say, I suppose I would find that a bit odd. Why doesn't he write about his own country? But I wouldn't be offended. And as long as he had shown a genuine interest in the place and done his research I would think that it was OK. And maybe interesting to get an outsider's perspective on my own country.

    So on balance I think it's OK what I'm doing. But does anyone have any other thoughts?
    The people who built stonehenge are as culturally distant to modern Brits as they are to modern Swedes, with most of us thinking Stonehenge was built by Celts. I don't know much about the Sami but wouldn't be surprised if the same was true of them.

    Some of the best ancient stories we have would be deemed cultural appropriation today - the Arthurian cycle started as a Celtic story recorded by Latin writing Christian monks. If cultures aren't allowed to cross-pollinate then how can anything new grow?

    Would be interesting to see some work based on the Sami cultures.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Escribo View Post
    I'm writing a story set in Sweden involving some Lapp (Sami) cultural references. It follows on from a hike that I did there earlier this year. I'm British. Do you think there's anything inappropriate about that? Would Swedes feel at all that it was none of my business to be writing about this?

    Looking at it the other way round, if a Swede wrote a story set in ancient Stonehenge, say, I suppose I would find that a bit odd. Why doesn't he write about his own country? But I wouldn't be offended. And as long as he had shown a genuine interest in the place and done his research I would think that it was OK. And maybe interesting to get an outsider's perspective on my own country.

    So on balance I think it's OK what I'm doing. But does anyone have any other thoughts?
    I can't imagine anyone would be the slightest bit bothered. Philip Pullman somewhat does this anyway, in His Dark Materials. It's not like we colonised Sweden and took all their history.


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  3. #13
    As somebody whose country has been written on by many people and mostly negatively, I think it depends on how you write about Sami culture. If you do it respectfully, and with depth and not just to give to your story or your character some "exotic" vibes, then go for it.
    Even when somebody writes about my country negatively, if they do it with the right depth and with the right research behind their words, I won't take offence.

  4. #14
    If the story is set modern remember that cultures merge and that might be an area for experimentation.

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