You may have heard of “cultural appropriation” and “cultural imperialism.” Do you think culture can be aggressive? What makes creative cooperation and borrowing into appropriation and exploitation? It can’t be simplified into unequal sharing of the proceeds. Not in this era of digital file-sharing. And not as long as history consists of retelling and reinterpreting stories lived by people who’ve come before us. It certainly has something to do with the unequal distribution of cultural “products” (stories, recordings, designs, messages etc.). In other words, some “narratives” get “broadcast,” or shared by powerful technological means, more widely than others.
We at LBL believe we owe each other the respect of acknowledging what’s influenced and inspired us. But all of us need to work towards paying cultural creators, or crafters, and distributors, the fair cost of living and doing their jobs.
Seen from another side, some decry cultural domination. They say their traditional societal values and cultural skills get overwhelmed by products “forced” on them by more powerful producing systems and economies. While this seems less relevant to LBL’s work, we welcome your ideas, which you can submit here.