THE FIRES of cultural appropriation were fanned recently when the editor of a small magazine published by The Writers’ Union of Canada wrote, “I don’t believe in cultural appropriation.”
Then he poured gasoline on the fire by promoting a “Cultural Appropriation Contest” in which the winner would be the writer who appropriates culture the most: “. . . the Appropriation Prize for best book by an author who writes about people who aren’t even remotely like her or him.” He was forced to resign.
Fiction is not cultural appropriation because storytelling is not the property of any one culture.
David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.