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Author Topic: Other: Belly dance appropriation?  (Read 4186 times)

Jabberwocky

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Re: Belly dance appropriation?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2016, 03:41:33 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;198276

Good for you. Yoga is a good example of what I said above. It's really complicated in this debate, as its history is contested and all wrapped up, very deeply, in colonialism. Every art form you could look at in this debate will have a different history and context. But they do HAVE histories and contexts. There is no ideology-free art form.

 
Relevant to the discussion is this article I just came across: https://medium.com/@FarahKarenina/cultural-appropriation-is-a-toxic-concept-97340ff040e9#.l37m3nb1u

(It's more nuanced than the title suggests).

On Yoga specifically, I found this argument from it interesting.

Many of the people taking offense because yoga has become so mainstream give you this idea that yoga somehow belongs to everyone in India — it does not, it only belongs to the privileged rich ones, it belongs to the upper castes. It does not belong to Dalits — and I feel making it more accessible to them is a far more worthy cause than trying to ban it in the West. But hey that’s just me. I urge everyone to just really question the notion of any said thing belonging to an entire culture — question whether or not it really belongs to everyone in that culture — question whether or not the person telling you this speaks for everyone in their culture. Also, like India exports yoga willfully, consensually. Are you gonna tell me they suffer from internalized racism?
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SunflowerP

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Re: Belly dance appropriation?
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2016, 11:26:21 pm »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;198703
Relevant to the discussion is this article I just came across: https://medium.com/@FarahKarenina/cultural-appropriation-is-a-toxic-concept-97340ff040e9#.l37m3nb1u

(It's more nuanced than the title suggests).

On Yoga specifically, I found this argument from it interesting.

Many of the people taking offense because yoga has become so mainstream give you this idea that yoga somehow belongs to everyone in India — it does not, it only belongs to the privileged rich ones, it belongs to the upper castes. It does not belong to Dalits — and I feel making it more accessible to them is a far more worthy cause than trying to ban it in the West. But hey that’s just me. I urge everyone to just really question the notion of any said thing belonging to an entire culture — question whether or not it really belongs to everyone in that culture — question whether or not the person telling you this speaks for everyone in their culture. Also, like India exports yoga willfully, consensually. Are you gonna tell me they suffer from internalized racism?

 
Ooh, that looks fascinating - and indeed full of nuance, and the complexities of the appropriation issue.

As usual, Jab, you give good link :).

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Faemon

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Re: Belly dance appropriation?
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2016, 01:12:46 am »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;198703
Relevant to the discussion is this article I just came across: https://medium.com/@FarahKarenina/cultural-appropriation-is-a-toxic-concept-97340ff040e9#.l37m3nb1u

(It's more nuanced than the title suggests).

On Yoga specifically, I found this argument from it interesting.

(...)

India exports yoga willfully, consensually. Are you gonna tell me they suffer from internalized racism?

 
That's a point that bothered me about the article in the original post.

Quote
When I have argued, online and in person, with white women belly dancers, they have assured me that they learned to dance from Arab women and brown women. This is supposed to make the transaction OK. Instead, I point out that all this means is that it is perfectly all right with these teachers that their financial well-being is based on self-exploitation.


The writer's lived experience is a valuable cornerstone of that article, even though the aim may come off as entirely too prescriptive, it does come from somewhere felt and reasoned and well worth considering oh, no, scratch that! It's much too disingenuous that the article writer universalizes her own lived experience at the invalidation of another's: the article writer is not targeting the privileged, in the quote above, but individuals of the very demographic she's supposed to be supporting. She's argued directly with white women belly dancers, but what, didn't consider the perspectives of their Arab teachers worth getting in touch with at all? She's just going to out and speak for those teachers? That bothers me.
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Jabberwocky

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Re: Belly dance appropriation?
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2016, 08:15:03 am »
Quote from: Faemon;198739

The writer's lived experience is a valuable cornerstone of that article, even though the aim may come off as entirely too prescriptive, it does come from somewhere felt and reasoned and well worth considering oh, no, scratch that! It's much too disingenuous that the article writer universalizes her own lived experience at the invalidation of another's: the article writer is not targeting the privileged, in the quote above, but individuals of the very demographic she's supposed to be supporting. She's argued directly with white women belly dancers, but what, didn't consider the perspectives of their Arab teachers worth getting in touch with at all? She's just going to out and speak for those teachers? That bothers me.

 
It's linked into the whole glamourisation of poverty thing as well.  It's very easy for people with a safety net to affect an air of scornful disdain for people's commerical well-being.

You see it a lot in music as well.  

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CaptainJaneway

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Re: Belly dance appropriation?
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2017, 01:56:49 pm »
Quote from: missgraceless;195245
I do understand where the author is coming from, but as a white woman who loves belly dance and plans on taking lessons again, I really don't want to let this one article get to me and stop me from doing something I love.

 

I'd say go for it.  It's good to take the idea of cultural appropriation seriously, but only when it makes sense.  In my opinion, if you're not buying something that is unethically sourced, or something that somehow takes something away from the culture you're enjoying, then I can't see how your enjoyment of bellydancing can be a bad thing.

If you're appreciating it for what it is, and it's bringing light to your life, what's wrong with that?
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