Ravensburg stops selling the book

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Delivery of Vinnetto books was halted, allowing dreadlocked white reggae musicians to stop performing. Cultural appropriation comes up frequently in the debates. But what is it really?

The book “The Young Chief Vinnetto” is causing a stir these days – especially on social media. Reason: The Ravensburger Company has decided to withdraw several children’s books from sale due to allegations of racism.

Ravensburg: The Feelings of Others Hurt

Hundreds of Instagram users then failed to express their understanding and accused the company of censorship or blaming. also supported the decision.

The Ravensburg-based company, known primarily for its games and puzzles, announced in mid-August that it would stop shipping two Winnetoo titles and remove them from the program.

The company justified this with user comments in an Instagram post. It shows that “we hurt other people’s feelings with Winnetoo titles”.

The “romantic image” of the oppression of indigenous peoples

A Ravensburger spokesperson said the decision was carefully considered. In the case of the mention of Vinneto’s titles, after weighing various arguments, it was concluded that, given the historical reality, the persecution of the indigenous population, a “romantic picture with many clichés” was painted. here.

In current debates, cultural appropriation is repeatedly mentioned. Ravensberger himself talks about it too. But what is it really?

What is cultural appropriation?

Cultural appropriation means that people use a culture that is not their own, for example through music or clothing. Above all, it is criticized when members of a majority society usurp, commercialize and take out of context individual elements of a minority culture.

Most recent example: A concert by the band Lawworm in Bern was canceled because some visitors were unhappy that they played Jamaican music and that some white members of the band were wearing African clothes and dreadlocks.

While the debate is relatively new in German-speaking countries, it has been raging in the United States for years. Mexico also has a law prohibiting cultural appropriation.

The scandal of cultural appropriations reveals many absurdities.

German ethnographer Susanne Schröter finds the current discussion of cultural appropriation problematic. “The cultural appropriation scandal reveals a lot of nonsense. There are concerns about the implications of thinking about necessary restrictions on use. Then the author must deal with each object, each genre, each form of cultural expression and its use limited to these authors. We’ll have to find it,” says Professor Johann Wolfgang Goethe of the University of Frankfurt.

Cultural appropriation is basically something positive for the scientist. “People have always adopted other people’s things when they thought it made sense. In short, the whole history of mankind is a story of cultural appropriations, without which no development could have taken place,” says Schröter.

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