Home Forums Who owns the past? Who owns the past? Reply To: Who owns the past?


I generally agree with what you are saying. It’s hard to define ‘cultural descendants’ in a meaningful way that is open to factors like immigration. You see that now politically where the question ‘What makes someone an American?’ or ‘What makes someone a European?’ I wouldn’t want to say that a South American immigrant to the USA doesn’t have any ‘ownership’ over the USA’s founding documents for instance. I’d want to say ‘Sure, they belong to you as much as anyone!’ However the opposite end of the stick is cultural appropriation, where I wouldn’t want to start disrespectfully mimicking some South American ritual practices. You can see how the two concepts are related though. I think an attitude of respect, curiosity, openness, and sharing is best.