Panel discusses cultural appropriation vs appreciation

Spectrum News: Panel discusses cultural appropriation vs appreciation


AUSTIN, Texas -- Austin Community College hosted a panel discussion on cultural appropriation versus appreciation Thursday.

The panel was a recreation of a South by Southwest panel that took place this year. It was such a hot topic that panelists had the discussion twice during SXSW. 

ACC Creative Writing Chair Charlotte Gullick organized the event because she says she wanted students in Arts and Digital Media to understand cultural appropriation and how to prevent the issue in their work.

"It's really interesting to see how people show up on the page in terms of the way they want to represent people, and sometimes very well-intended people, well-intended students, well-intended writers make some pretty big mistakes about what they think is appropriate," she said.

Panelists discussed different ways to look within when gauging if something is cultural appropriation, like asking oneself, "Is this sacred? Does it cause harm? Did I do the work to know enough?"

One creative writing student showed up because she is working on a story about her time as an exchange student in India.

"I need to be very careful about the words that I choose because I want to make sure that I'm coming across in a way that can help convey my meaning in a way that people will understand," said Karen Prairie. "I've been trying to improve my writing and I think one of the best ways to do it is to really think about other people and try to be sensitive."

The presentation also featured examples like Mattel's Dia De Los Muertos Barbie and Kim Kardashian's shape wear line that was original named "Kimono."

The event was free to the public.


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