Should Madonna Wear a Bindi?: POSTPONED
We are sorry to announce that this event has been postponed due to the illness of the presenter. We will inform ticket holders if we are able to reschedule.
The Sangam Festival is a celebration of South Asian culture and its traditions. Celebrating
the cultures of ethnic minorities is one of the richest aspects of life and is a way of
promoting multiculturalism, but it has to be done thoughtfully so that it is all-encompassing
in its objectives and does not merely promote the surface aspects of culture – essentially
the look and style of something – without interrogating its historical and political aspects.
Questions such as when does borrowing become harmful and constitute cultural
appropriation will be asked. Cultural appropriation is of continued topicality. It is of critical
importance given the prevailing view that the sharing of cultures should be continued but
what needs to be brought into consideration are the ethics of this practice.
Rina Arya is Professor of Visual Culture and Theory at the University of Huddersfield, UK.
She has written about the artist Francis Bacon (Francis Bacon: Painting in a Godless World,
2012), abjection (Abjection and Representation: An Exploration of Abjection in the Visual
Arts, Film and Literature, 2014; Abject Visions: Powers of Horror in Art and Visual Culture,
2016) and a number of articles on spirituality and contemporary art. Her main area of
research now is the crossover between material culture and religious studies and she is
currently working on a book about the cultural appropriation of Hindu symbols.