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, tatoos, 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 Activation Hub, 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 honor 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.
HOW WE WORK WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Medicine would not have come into existence without the significant input of our indigenous friends and we will always take counsel from them for as long as we exist, as well as put them at the centre of our production as collaborators.
We provide an online and in-person platform for people to learn from indigenous leaders from all around the world, because we fully realise that they are the ones protecting the biodiversity of our whole planet. Indigenous people are often the worst hit by climate change and natural disasters, and without them, we face an immeasurable loss of our collective understanding of how to live in harmony with nature, of protecting our forests and waters, and understanding the importance of keeping earth’s natural resources in the ground, not to mention the cultural importance of the spiritual earth-based wisdom they carry.
Through our online offerings (Medicine Sessions, MovieMedicine and our special events such as the Song Circle), we have directly raised funds for indigenous communities who have been hit hard by Covid-19, and for our partner organisations such as the Tairona Trust and Boa Foundation with profits going to help Kogi and Amazonian indigenous communities in need.
We co-hosted a special event on August 9th 2020 on the UN’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples with our partner Aniwa, featuring esteemed indigenous leaders from the Mayan, Yoreme, Dine, Yaqui/Apache, Huni Kuin, Ashaninka, Yawanawa, Hopi/Tewa and Dogon tribes to celebrate the languages, traditional songs and culture of these tribes and raise money for their community projects.
Festival sites are not always the easiest places for people with disabilities to navigate so we are doing our best to put things in place to make your experience as trouble free as possible.
- Our site has road access to its centre, so we can arrange for you to have vehicle access where needed to the heart of the action and also to the campsite.
- We have a disabled toilet and shower in the campsite.
- Although we do not have an Accessible Viewing Area for the stages our Area Guardians will make sure you are taken care of and have a good sight line to the entertainment.
- If you need an assistant to come with you to the festival we can arrange a Personal Assistant ticket.
- We can provide large print sitemaps and schedules should you need one.
Do note that there will not be metal tracks for wheelchairs to get around, and some of the ground is rough field and some paths are a bit uneven.
Please let us know how else we can support your experience at Medicine.