poster for DIVA (formerly Pocahaunted) (via Commercial Records Shop)
this is the kind of shit i am talking about. that a white girl from l.a. named “diva dompe” and was in a band called “pocahaunted” and has posters of what looks like is supposed to be a generalized sort of ambigous representation of a native woman? (i mean at least in this case i should be grateful she’s not hypersexualized)
yeah! this poster is beautiful! but as soon as i hear/become aware of the context? i just want to cringe/vomit. when will this shit go away? why is it so okay in “alternative/indie” music scenes to call your band navajo something or other/local native/tribe/the national reserve/etc and never get called out for it? or, when you do, play these trivial defensive cards without ever taking a moment to stop and think about how your actions might affect other people?
i wrote the critical fashion lover’s (basic) guide to cultural appropriation over a year ago, and spent at least 4-5 years thinking/reading/learning about it before i took to pen and paper. but today, part of me wonders, what the fuck is the point? when will it ever end? because these days i don’t see an end in sight. i see it getting worse and worse. i see myself going to shows less and less because i have felt sick to my stomach one too many times after seeing white kids wearing faux war paint and playing “indian” without thinking. the excuse that it is a costume, theatrical, feels almost worse than at least owning up to it being a pervasive racist trend. playing cowboys and indians just seems so embedded in the (north) american psyche that i’m not sure i can ever convince anyone to step back from the situation and deconstruct the power relations/privilege at play there.
lately i just feel defeatist about the whole thing. there is no end in sight. just browse my cultural appropriation tag if you want to feel as cynical as i do right now.