-------THEME 03 BY NATALIE (VATICAMEOS.TUMBLR.COM) DONT REMOVE THE CREDITS NEITHER USE THIS CODE AS A BASE-------/>
There are far more eloquent writers who have pointed out how difficult it is to growing up reading books (and watching movies) about a culture alien to you, and how pernicious the influences thereof can be. I am lucky in that Indian culture is more widely represented in Western media than other colonised regions—when I talk about Bollywood in the yuletide chat room, there are people who have an idea about what I might be referring to, bastardised ideas of ‘pundit’ and ‘caste system’ and ‘karma’ and ‘reincarnation’ are present in the English vocabulary. Yet still, my ability to connect fannishly with people from different parts of the world is mediated through the coloniser’s language and representation. Enid Blyton, with her hideous caricatures of African tribal boys helping the intrepid British children is read from Johannesburg to Jaipur—Iktomi stories are not.
These imbalances of power are what frustrate me in several discussions regarding issues of representation and diversity in writing that I’ve seen recently. I am summarising some positions that I have heard, and my responses to them.
READ THIS. It is commentary from an Indian writer named Deepa D. about race and depictions of race in literature and how writing and literature favours American/Western values and cultures. It brings up narratives from the author’s life and examples of Western culture’s literary attempts to represent non-Western cultures “respectfully” in order to hammer home this point:
I would like to say that this well-intentioned championing of diversity is specific to countries that are trying to celebrate their appropriation of other cultures.
Flora Kim as Mylluin of Nevrast, Lady of the House of the Harp of Gondolin.
Born by Linaewen into a Falathrim family of Nevrast ferrymen, Mylluin met Salgant during the migration of Turgon’s people to Vinyamar, and they married as soon as propriety allowed. After her coming to Gondolin, Mylluin became a renowned muse and model for the city’s artists and artisans.