For the record…

A few days ago I made a post on Facebook about not wanting to give Amanda PL any more attention than she was worth — and I still believe this is true. Yesterday, however, some comments were made by prominent Indigenous folk (non-artists) that I feel devalue the scholarship that has been done surrounding cultural appropriation and also invalidates the rights of Indigenous artists who work hard to make space in a highly competitive industry. This is an industry where Indigenous artists working in these styles are too often overlooked and/or their works are dismissed as “craft”. It was in response to these harmful comments that I felt more conversation was needed as it is Indigenous artists and their livelihoods who are directly affected. Over the past few days since I made my aforementioned post, more of Amanda’s other works have come forward which go beyond the conversation of appropriation and should instead be centered on plagiarism, i.e the case of Corey Bulpitt & Larissa Healey’s mural which was exactly replicated by Amanda (shown above).

In my view, this issue is not only one of Indigenous versus Non, it comes down to the legality of copyright for ALL artists, something that many of my colleagues (and myself) have had to deal with at one point or another. There are laws in place that protect us for this reason. This affects all artists and designers who work for years through schooling and otherwise to hone their practice. As such, it is unacceptable for an artist to take credit for copying another’s work or use it without permission; just as it is unacceptable for those who aren’t affected by plagiarism to be making harmful statements on our behalf.

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