Recommended read: Incorporating Culture


This week we're recommending Incorporating Culture: How Indigenous People Are Reshaping the Northwest Coast Art Industry by Solen Roth.

From the publisher:

Fragments of culture often become commodities when the tourism and heritage business showcases local artistic and cultural practice. And frequently, this industry is developed without the consent of those whose culture is being commercialized. What does this say about appropriation, social responsibility, and intercultural relationships? And what happens when local communities become more involved in this cultural marketplace?

Based on eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork, Incorporating Culture examines how Northwest Coast Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs are cultivating more equitable relationships with the companies that reproduce their designs on everyday objects. Focusing on the vibrant Indigenous art industry in Vancouver, Solen Roth details how artists are slowly but surely modifying an essentially capitalist market to reflect Indigenous models of property, relationships, and economics.

Moving beyond the assumption that the commodification of Indigenous culture is necessarily exploitative, Incorporating Culture discusses how communities can treat culture as a resource in a way that nurtures rather than depletes it. From this fresh perspective, Roth sheds light on the processes by which Indigenous people have been asserting control over the Northwest Coast art industry – not by shutting the market down but by reshaping it in order to reflect their communities’ values and ways of life.

Scholars and students in a broad range of disciplines who are interested in the relationship between commerce and Indigenous art and design will find this book illuminating, as will thoughtful participants in the Indigenous art market.

Visit the library and borrow this book today! E78 N78 R67 2018

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