Should Artists Be Allowed To Borrow From Cultures Besides Their Own?

Historically, styles and traditions were often taken from other societies and displayed without context or reduced to “exotic” novelties in Western society. When this happens in modern art, runway fashion, or music today, artists are accused of cultural appropriation, especially if they’ve borrowed or used traditions specific to a particular minority group. Those in support of borrowing say art has always been a medium of exchange, influence, and fusion and they believe placing restrictions on inspiration may stifle artistic expression. Also, they point out that artists usually intend these references as “cultural appreciation.” Those arguing against it say borrowing from other cultures they aren’t educated about erases the context and significance, and what might seem like innocent borrowing can perpetuate stereotypes and echo past injustices. With this context, we debate the question: Should Artists Be Allowed to Borrow From Cultures Besides Their Own?