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Thought-Provoking Photos That Explore Cultural Appropriation in Fashion

We talk a lot about cultural appropriation these days — last week’s national debate about Miley Cyrus feels like months ago, doesn’t it? — and most of the time the conversations quickly escalate into heated arguments. It’s always a hot-button topic, but one that is usually covered by critics rather than those who are doing the appropriating (or those whose culture is appropriated). The impetus behind photographer Sanaa Hamid’s collection, Cultural Appropriation: A Conversation, is to focus more on the people in the middle of it. “I give the appropriator and the appropriated the opportunity to defend themselves and create a dialogue between them, while maintaining a neutral stance myself,” Hamid explains. “I am not attacking those who appropriate… I remove myself from my political and social status and opinions, stripping the problem to the most basic issue: taking an item that means a great deal to somebody and altering it.” 

Image credit: Sanaa Hamid

Image credit: Sanaa Hamid

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