Running through the lifeblood of Medicine is a commitment to creating a safe and supportive space for ALL. From the bottom of our hearts we welcome and encourage all races, all backgrounds, all gender identities, all abilities and all ages to attend. As we grow, we sincerely hope the diversity of our community grows with us.
Medicine is a continual work in progress and we are learning as we go – we won’t get everything right the first time. Please do get in touch if you can help us with improving our social inclusion and diversity.
For those unfamiliar with this term, the Oxford Dictionary defines cultural appropriation as “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.” These adoptions may be clothing styles or items such as headdresses, aspects of traditional rituals or ceremonies such as songs, tattoos, or even movement modalities such as yoga.
What makes cultural appropriation different to cultural exchange (which is normal in our interconnected world) is that there is an element of a power dynamic in which a dominant culture takes from one it has oppressed for its own advantage (money, fashion, status etc), which the other culture specifically finds offensive or exploitative.
We recognise that festival-goers do not have bad intentions and may be engaging in cultural appropriation unintentionally, and we see this as an opportunity for education and discussion. We have a programming focus on this and related diversity topics in our programming, and also hope that people will choose to explore this important matter when conversing with people at the event.
Medicine Festival offers a safe place to have these important and relevant conversations, and to learn exactly why we must honour other cultures, and do all we can to educate ourselves about the struggles they face and do what we can to be allies and supportive where needed with regards to raising awareness when tackling cultural appropriation and systemic racism.