Where are all the…? HERE!

Currently, several poster campaigns, from insurance companies to ministries, are again advertising with white children in “Indian costumes”. While in North America there is at least a social and scientific discussion about cultural appropriation – even if there is not much to be seen of it in the mainstream – this has hardly arrived in Germany. With the exception of minor adbusting campaigns such as the “Leitkultur macht stark” poster, poster campaigns such as those of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research seem to be an unchallenged part of German reality.

But not only from the advertising, also from children’s games and songs and the carnival brimborium feather decoration and bow and arrow are hardly to be omitted. The Eldorado town of Templin or the Karl May Festival are highly frequented venues. Critics emphasize not only transnational and discriminatory practices of cultural appropriation, but also the fact that playing “Cowboys and Indians” trivializes and negates genocide and the violent history of conquest, oppression, and land grabbing. Instead, Native Americans/First Nations are imagined as a homogeneous unit and romanticized and trivialized as noble savages.

Worth reading in German, with a number of translated quotes from activists on the topic of cultural appropriation, can be found here, for example. As a brief introduction to terminology, the article “Indians” by Noah Sow in the book“How Racism Speaks from Words” is also suitable. In English, for example, the blogs My culture is not a trend and Native appropriations (e.g. with the “Open Letter to the PocaHotties and Indian Warriors this Halloween”) are worth reading, as well as the extensive collection of links on “cultural appropriation” at noiseaux. The documentary“Reel Injun” examines ways of representing Native Americans in Hollywood and in“Mickey Mouse Monopoly” there is a passage on the role of Native Americans in Disney films and their de-historicizing function using the example of Pocahontas.