CBC Radio’s popular program q took a dive into the turbulent waters of talking about cultural appropriation this week with guest host Candy Palmater.
Palmater, A Mi'kmaq comedian, spoke with Christi Belcourt, who’s received some attention lately for a collaboration with Valentino. The world renowned design company was inspired by Belcourt’s painting Water Song and created high end clothing based on the painting’s patterns. The collaboration seemed to work.
Belcourt said she didn’t agree to the project right away. She wanted to know if any Valentino models had walked down runways with headdresses or feathers and about the company’s environmental record.
Everything checked out with the answers to these questions but before agreeing, Belcourt went to an elder for advice. And then she said yes.
“I think it turned out really beautifully, I think it’s stunning. They did a really respectful job in interpreting the art,” Belcourt said.
Palmater also talked to Ojibway writer Drew Hayden Taylor about cultural appropriation.
Listen to the full episode below. The segment with Belcourt and Taylor begins at about 17:50.
Images courtesy of Valentino and christibelcourt.com