more reflections and more questions

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These discussions (see previous post please, if you are unaware) had kept me thinking night & day for the last two days. I have so many questions, to which I have no answer. And I doubt anyone has any.

  • if I were to be inspired by my own culture, create & sell these French-inspired creations, would I be suddenly legitimate ?

  • if I’m French native (like I am), am I restrainted to create things (to sell) that are French inspired ?

  • I’m from the south of France, so would being inspired by Northern France culture & craftsmanship (and making things to sell) make me illegitimate (once again) ?

  • is it really how art & crafts(wo)manship work ? Are you supposed to fit into boxes & stick to them ?

  • among other artisans/artists such as potters, for instance, where does inspiration start & where does culture violation begin ?? (this could be transposed to any other artistic/artisanal areas, btw)

  • it is already not obvious to create something (even though based on inspiration from another culture), will I have to question every step of my creativity ? Will I have to stop in my tracks when I think suddenly of making something Japan inspired ? Shall I stop altogether to make & (try to) sell Japan inspired creations ?

  • should I stick to exclusively NOT Japan inspired creations ?

  • Does embroidering running stitches, in a way that could make think of sashiko stitches or boro or kantha, represent a violation to the Japansese or Indian culture ?

  • if someone accross the planet is making provençal inspired creations (Provence being an area / culture from southern France), why should I feel violated or offended because I’m a white girl from southern France ? Who would I be to say to this person she’s not legitimate for doing so ? Would she be “stealing food from a “genuine” provençal girl’s hands ? (I don’t think so)

  • wouldn’t it be narrow minded to think that all the artists coming from outside of France, who were inspired by Provence and even settled there, hadn’t the proper right to do so ?

I could go on & on. I have deep respect for any other culture, whatever it may be, but when has this world of ours stopped mixing ?

In no way I am trying to find excuses or explanations to making my Japan inspired creations (as few as they may be). I’m just being really disoriented right now, and these discussions, even though they’ve been REALLY eye opening about POC’s daily life (& representation in the craft community) and constructive (to me at least), have made me overthinking, which in the artistic/artisanal area, are not really a good way to go forward.

Does any of you have answers to these questions ?

Sonia

appreciation or appropriation ?

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If you are on Instagram (I am) and even more if you are part of the Instagram knitting community (I am not but have friends being active parts of it), it is probable that you have heard about the current discussion that happened after Karen Templer’s blog post (here), to which she added another blog post (here).

To make long short, she’s (unintentionally) offended mostly people of color (POC) but not only, by the words she used & the things she said about her upcoming trip to India. It gave birth to a pretty large network of discussions all over the Instagram knitting community (& beyond !), about the lack of visibility of the Black & Indegenous people of color (BIPOC) & about white privilege.

In one of these discussions, which already were food for thought in themselves, something brought another topic to my attention : the appropriation of another (country’s) culture.

There’s no secret for you readers that I genuinely appreciate lots of aspects of Japanese culture. I love Japanese fabrics & textiles, Japenese art in general, and Japanese aesthetic. It’s been many years now, and not just a trend, in my personal case. And in the end, it does inspire me to create things (to sell, I’m not denying), with this culture (that is not mine) in mind. Many questions suddenly appear in my mind :

  • Am I wrong to do so ? Did I have the right to do so ?

  • Does it make me illegitimate to “borrow” (in a way) that culture that is not mine ?

  • Am I offending anyone of that culture if I make things (to sell) inspired by their culture, naming my creations after names or words from that culture/language ?

  • Am I honoring this culture ? Who can say if I am or if I am not ?

I truly admitt I had never thought about it all before. Mea culpa. I never realized that I was appropriating another culture than mine. It’s always been sincerely coming from my heart with a desire of honoring this culture.

I have ALWAYS felt like a citizen of the world, not like a white girl from southern France. I have French & Spanish blood in my veins. My husband has French, Tunisian & Italian blood in his, and I think of us as a Mediterranean mix. My niece’s mom is from Colombia. We are all fruits of immigration, one way or another, there’s no denying. And to me, it blurs the lines in the end.

▲ I need your opinion on these questions above, as I am experiencing creative & cultural confusion ! It’s stopped me in my tracks & don’t know what to think anymore.

I will accept constructive critics but no agressive accusations. (and just a side note, I’m not waiting for approval or validation)

With many thanks for your time & opinion. ♥
ox

Sonia

up and running again

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Hello everyone ! I just finished fixing the shop (after my major mistake yesterday), and actually took advantage of the time spend at the computer for changing things around (as I like to do), for doing some “spring-cleaning” !

The shop is a little bare these days but I hope to add new things in a near future. Thank you always for your patience & understanding. In the meantime, there are still in the shop a handful of lovely little things ready to be shipped, such as this set of coasters made with Japanese fabrics & upcycled textiles !

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Wishing you a good end of the week & a great start to the weekend ahead ! Thank you for your visit today !

With love,

Sonia