Cultural appropriation’ is the criticism that white people take cultural artefacts – ideas, styles, yoga – from people of colour, change them, commodify them, and sell them. It’s the idea that dominant, white, imperialist groups do this with no understanding or respect for the sacredness of these ideas and practices, and in the process perpetuate power imbalances and cause offence to the lineage holders of these traditions. Cultural appropriation can be viewed as element of identity politics that has been drawn on by diverse agendas including the Hindu American Foundation’s ‘take back yoga’ campaign.
In this session Ruth will present on cultural appropriation and the legacies of colonialism and orientalism in which yoga is embedded. We will discuss the globalisation of yoga and the politicisation of bodies. We will debate ideas of global commons, heritage of (wo?)mankind, identity politics, essentialisation, the application of the property ownership paradigm ato cultural artefacts and cultural flows or appreciation. Please join us to unpack these complex issues
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