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12
Jun
Walking a mile in everybody’s shoes

Walking a mile in everybody’s shoes

Last time in this space, I discussed the issue of cultural appropriation. Many see this as a kind of pillaging of cultural objects style, customs and ways usually from groups seen as marginalized by groups with status.
And a debate over whether a trans female could truly claim lived experience as a female.

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29
May
Appropriating the appropriators

Appropriating the appropriators

Hal Niedzviecki was the former editor of Write, the house organ of the Writers Union of Canada. He sparked a firestorm and lost his job when he defended the right of writers to explore cultures and themes beyond their own background, experience and identity.
That might appear defensible on the grounds of free speech, and in the interests of artistic creativity.

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15
May
New skirmish in the Cornwallis Wars

New skirmish in the Cornwallis Wars

The Cornwallis Wars have resumed, now that HRM Council has agreed to reconsider the future of Cornwallis Park and the Cornwallis statue in front of the Westin Hotel near the Via Rail station.
I have argued here previously that debates about Cornwallis are grossly out of proportion to his actual and modest accomplishments and influence. So why the continuing controversy?

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01
May
Have I got a plan for HRM...!

Have I got a plan for HRM...!

Fifty years on, we still live largely in the cultural shadow of the 1960s. One issue during that decade that went underground and has only recently surfaced was the fate of cities.

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18
Apr
Just who are ‘us’?

Just who are ‘us’?

The CBC historical series The Story of Us has elicited predictable ire from parts of the country that feel slighted and ignored in its choice of topics.
That may be a matter of importance. But what matters far more in my view is that this series represents one or several steps backward in the art of documentary and our historical understanding of Canada.

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