What is cultural appropriation? Is it different from cultural misrepresentation? Who is affected by these practices and who can we turn to for guidance? These questions can be uncomfortable to ask ourselves but, especially in today’s national dialogue, uncomfortable questions are often the most important. With this in mind, Guardian Adventures decided to take the first step in beginning a conversation on the topic of cultural misrepresentation in the media.
An online gathering of minds was held last Monday with three experts as featured panelists. These three women have been or currently are cultural consultants for the Guardian Adventures team, providing their feedback regarding all cultural details of our camp plots and storylines. From costumes to characters to the furthest reaches of history, myth, and literature, these consultants have guided us in establishing the quality and integrity of our story-based summer camps.
First, the attendees to this discussion were introduced to Claudia Fox Tree, a cultural educator of Arawak and Native American culture. You may remember her work from a past Day Of The Dead event. Second, the attendees were introduced to Alma Richeh, a cultural educator for our exploration of Syrian culture. Our campers from last year will remember her as the bringer of song to our summer camp. Third, attendees met Amina Zakki, a cultural educator of Moroccan stories, whose impact will be seen in this year’s Moroccan themed storylines at (online) camp. The panel was moderated by our CEO, Meghan Gardner.
Our panelists delivered thought-provoking stories and perspectives on the topics of cultural appropriation and misrepresentation. The hour-long conversation was well received and, we feel, worth a watch for anyone interested in broadening their own definitions of currently spotlighted terms. If you are interested in learning more about the subject of culture in media, you are invited to watch the panel program about Cultural Appropriation and Misrepresentation online.