All of us can play a positive & supportive role by recognizing and honoring the source material of the inspiration for their work, as well as its impact on others.
More often than not, a member of any culture may not immediately recognize cultural appropriation of another or the harm it can cause until they are made aware of it. Once made aware of cultural appropriation, a person not prepared to receive that feedback may react defensively. In order to keep our stage and rehearsals safe spaces for all involved, we ask our members to reflect on this guidance and to be receptive to feedback in regards to this topic.
A key issue of surrounding cultural appropriation is around intention. As such, SLO Tease asks our members to reflect upon the following:
Are you using something from a culture or group other than your own as part of your work?
We wholeheartedly encourage genuine interest in the wide variety of cultures and groups in our world, and believe that the sharing of ideas, traditions, and material items from other cultures enriches and helps diversify the world.
We also believe that if a performer is using ideas, traditions, or material items from a culture or group, we believe it is important that they have checked their intentions behind that use, and keep in mind the following:
In Conclusion: SLO Tease does not seek to ‘police’ the matter of cultural appropriation, but to encourage and contribute towards good practice in authentic portrayal on our stages and at our events.
This document is based heavily on the good work done by Equity.org.uk’s Variety Circus Entertainers Committee in creating their own Cultural Appropriation Policy.
Equity is a union in the UK, made up of over 45,000 actors, singers, dancers, designers, directors, stage managers, puppeteers, comedians, voice artists, and variety performers, working on stage, on TV sets, on the catwalk, in film studios, in recording studios, in night clubs and in circus tents.
More about Equity: https://www.equity.org.uk/about/
Link to Equity’s original Cultural Appropriation Policy: