"Some people are understandably wary or resistant to such ideas, concerned that they could lead to a potential erosion of local and national traditions, reawaken colonial exploitation and appropriation, or simply lead to a general cultural homogenisation. These are rational concerns that should not be dismissed, but history equally shows that when cultures come together in respectful collaboration new cultures are born, as demonstrated with musical styles such as tango, flamenco, and jazz, and with cities such as Cordoba, Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, London, and New York."

I keep thinking about this recently. It's difficult to argue that many of the amazing artforms we have today have come about through the collission of different musical styles that have evolved in different cultures. But is it possible that this is a kind of 'consuming' activity? Many cultures have emerged through long periods of (relative) separation from the rest of the world. The cultural prosperity that can happen when they meet happens once, but both cultures are permanently changed. As globalisation and the internet have accelerated this process, are we just arriving into a singular culture and there will be no more opportunities for this?

Forgive the analogy, but it makes me think of privatisation of state assets. It brings a boost of cash to the government so may seem like good economic policy, but it's ultimately cashing in on the investments of past generations, and it's difficult to go back from.

Right now, the debate on cultural appropriation seems much stronger than it did a few years ago. I imagine many (good and bad) reasons for this, but one of them is perhaps a sense of having mingled all the cultures together to a point where there's less space for new niches to breathe.

By the way, I definitely don't mean this a critique of joining cultures. I think it's an amazing thing to do. I just wonder if at a macro-level it's a one-way process heading towards some kind of asymptote.

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