Report by Bobb Drake.
It’s not easy being a culture vulture, a self-serving individual or corporation looking to steal and profit from the cultures of disenfranchised ethnicities and indigenous peoples. But everyone has to make a living, right? And preferably a good one. A very good one.
Why, the world is your apple orchard, and there are so many amazingly delicious, juicy red apples ripe for the picking—unique cultures with long and storied histories, sacred traditions and designs developed over millennia. It’s all too tempting to grab one and take a bite.
Admittedly, this is probably not you. Your intentions are probably good. You appreciate the rare and unique among the world’s cultures and what they have to offer. You want to honor them and be inclusive of them in your business, whatever business you might be in.
Yet, perceptions trump intentions, and companies run a great risk of being perceived by the general public as self-serving, profiteering cultural appropriators, carelessly and openly stealing from relatively vulnerable cultures—all in the name of the almighty dollar.
It’s not easy. But it’s possible. Good intentions are not enough. Nor is being knowledgeable and appreciative of the culture who has inspired you so.
Let’s take a look at a timely example in honor of the upcoming Mexican holiday Día de Muertos, the Day of the Dead, which is also popular in parts of the US given the large populations of Americans with Mexican ancestry. As a testament to the holiday’s cultural significance, it is worth noting that it is included in the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Lenguas is a biennial conference held in Mexico City hosted jointly by InterpretAmerica and The Italia Morayta Foundation to share knowledge and best practices amongst interpreting professionals from all backgrounds. The second and most recent event in 2019 took place between January 24th and January 26th. This is a relatively new conference, with around 200 […]
You were at the center of this year’s edition of LocWorldWide. Yes, you. Each and every one of you reading this. Because we are all end users of content in one way or another — source or localized. The focus this year was on global end users and how to engage them. And, of course, the role of localization in this endeavour.
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