→ 26 Apr 12 at 5 pm
My partner Maymay is pretty on it when it comes to finding out and critiquing things like this :) And actually, through his twitter, info about this image made it to someone meeting the photographer soon.
I’m not sure what agenda you’d be coming at this from, other then “appropriation is fucked up”, which is an EXCELLENT agenda in my opinion :D I really appreciate you chiming in when I posted it originally, it’s really good to hear from other people in the circus world (although that isn’t where the image originated), that they don’t put up with appropriation.
Oh wow. I’m super impressed that someone is willing to go so far down the rabbit hole. (Down further than I can go while on my work computer at least.)
Also… for the record, I wasn’t coming at this from any particular agenda… I was just commenting on the image at face value. I’m a circus person and I appreciate interesting apparatuses. But I lived in New Mexico for several years, where Native American issues are a very big deal, and it made me understand enough about the background to be grossed out by the appropriation in this particular image.
Not fascinating enough for me to stomach the appropriation. It seems like there would be ways to combine similar net/steel in an apparatus that steers clear of the obvious dreamcatcher reference.
I’m SUPER leery of appropriative Native objects/imagery, but this is a fascinating apparatus.
You’re right, spinnychick, and I wish they had done that. I also wish I could source this image and find out if the performer in it identifies as Native or not.
The source is Lew Rubens. Surprise, surprise, he’s a BDSM/fetish photographer. Given the rampaging racism and classism in The BDSM Scene, and its preponderance of shit-tacular, sexist photographers, I would be surprised if this image were not cultural appropriation. However in classic male-photographer privilege style, Lew does not seem to list the model’s name on his website, so we can’t know for sure. However, given this clearer, color photo, and the nature of the shoot, i.e., fetish, not circus, I’m willing to bet it’s cultural appropriation, not self-expression.
I have to finish doing my taxes today, but maybe someone else has the wherewithal to go ask him? And then, if appropriate, call this whole damned thing out.
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