What is cultural appropriation, and why is it so controversial? Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University, defines it as “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.” ...... In the case of culture, however, what is called appropriation is not theft but messy interaction. Writers and artists necessarily engage with the experiences of others. Nobody owns a culture, but everyone inhabits one, and in inhabiting a culture, one finds the tools for reaching out to other cultures.
For educators and creative practitioners, "Culture is itself an act of citation-of reference, response, and transformation (Cultural Appropriation Roundtable, Artforum. (Summer2017) These are ideas that we will likely encounter in our practices and conversations we may facilitate.
"Messiness is a sign that you are heading toward understanding" Connie Wang, I've Written about Cultural Appropriation for 10 years. Here's What I Got Wrong