Sophie Brown discusses her graduate collection exploring Culture & Continuity
Being brought up in a predominantly white community in Doncaster, I had
very little knowledge of my black history and culture. It’s not till now that I have
begun to have opinions on my culture and interest in my history. My work
focuses on cultural appropriation and the dilution of black history. Cultural
appropriation is a big topic in fashion and with celebrities at the moment.
I aim to make people more aware of what they are doing when they take aspects from a culture and wear/do them simply because they are the ‘in’ thing. Often they have no understanding of how or why people of the culture it originated from do it, and the meaning behind it, for example tribal tattoos, African markings, hairstyles and cultural garments. Is it disrespect or appreciation? I feel history is often forgotten and diluted when cultural appropriation happens. I aim to make a dent in making black history, a history that has sculpted so much of how we live today, more acknowledged. I feel that black history has been extremely diluted over the years. We are only taught the minimum in school. There is so much in today’s world that slavery had such a big impact on. Due to the lack of education, people are unaware of this. Is this a failing in the school curriculum or does it go deeper than this?