Appropriation


Hello Good morning, or good evening I’m here today to introduce another postcolonial studies concept “Appropriation” Which is usually used in juxtaposition with “abrogatio” and there is a video on abrogation, which I’ll post a link to down below Appropriation is a related concept Most of the times in postcolonial societies an act of appropriation happens when the native writers, artists, even politicians Appropriate or use the languages, the aesthetics, the ways of expressing introduced by the colonizers in their written works, in their political speeches but then infuse it with the local traditions and customs. But by and large what they’re trying to do is, in opposition to abrogation, they are not trying to absolutely replace the language of the colonizers They are actually mastering it and using it. which would be like another way of saying “to dismantle the Master’s house with his or her own tools, right” So, most of the times, let’s say in literary tradition, these are the people who USE the Western languages, French Italian, English to tell stories, to write stories. Now, the stories would be of their own native culture or maybe the contact phase of their culture with the colonizers But they would also show a certain degree of mastery of the language Sometimes they would insist that that’s the only language that they can write in but anytime they do that anytime they Appropriate or use the colonial languages or colonial ways of expressing to tell their stories that’s an act of appropriation and can be a revolutionary now there is a debate especially in African postcolonial studies about whether or not appropriation is a good, you know, fit for the postcolony. So, for example, people like Chinua Achebe and others who mostly wrote in English would consider Appropriation a worthy pursuit. I mean Achebe was famously Known for saying that English maybe is a gift that the colonizers left us On the other hand is the group of scholars and writers people like Chinweizu Ngugi Thiong’O. I have videos on both of them and I’ll post links down below who argue that it is important for the people from the postcolonial nation-states to recover their own languages, their own literary traditions and to write in them because appropriation For them at the end of the day It’s still playing the game of the colonizers and following the rules of the language and literariness that they left behind. So, on the whole, to sum up, appropriation happens when the natives of colonized cultures learn the languages of their colonial masters master their philosophies, their forms, their genres and then start producing literature and art in them and that act of appropriation can sometimes be a revolutionary act because it uses or appropriates the Master’s language to undo the logic of the Masters own imperatives and culture. But as I said, there is a debate about it. Now Chinweizu famously in his book “Decolonizing the African Mind” absolutely is for a kind of cultural abrogation and not Appropriation and I have a lecture a brief lecture on Chinweizu take on that and in that he also I mean appropriates two characters from Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest:” Ariel and Caliban. And then suggests and theorizes that the native elite that is left behind, the elite who would be more Attuned to appropriating the Western customs and culture are the one who still represent the interests of the colonizers in that job or the work of postcolonial scholars and artists is to empower Caliban and hence Use the native knowledge native customs and native traditions to recreate a modern Africa right, in Chinweizu’s words, but still informed by its own history its own retrieved history. So, over all, always read appropriation in comparison with abrogation and then the term is also now used in metropolitan cultures where there is a term people use: Oh, this is cultural appropriation. And that is the term is used as a derisive term for any group from the dominant culture when they are trying to Look like Africans or appropriate the mode of dress or music I think most of the times it would be considered a negative thing of cultural appropriation Because they are either monetizing that or Politicizing an act of wearing clothes from Asia or somewhere else, but it is also now Become a negative term, especially cultural appropriation In the metropolitan cultures themselves, so that’s my brief video on Appropriation. I will keep producing these conceptual videos and I’ll try to post most of the links and connect them in the Description of all these video. If you have any ideas or any Concepts that you would like me to create a video on please Feel free to put that in the comments below and please if you like the content on this channel Do Subscribe And thank you so much, and I will see you next time.

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