On Authenticity: 50 ways to -not- understand it

As I spent the summer on one of those extremely touristy islands of the Mediterranean, I could not help but notice that stores and vendors would assail visitors from all sides with “local” “authentic” and “made here” slogans. It seems then that the tourists’ biggest concern is to leave with goods made by the proper hands of the locals. But is this really an authentic truth of one people whose memory we are trying to preserve, or is it a concentration of clichés corresponding to the idea we have of them? Are we being sold the “authentic” or a subterfuge? The question has been bothering me and led me to initiate a reflection on the notion of authenticity in art, a concept in permanent debate.

Slow Fashion in the Art Market

The Art market for the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas is going through a crisis due to a loss of confidence on the part of collectors. The origin of the buyer’s uncertainty is well known: worries about the provenance and acquisition history of the pieces, concerns about having to repatriate artworks, awareness of the risk of buying a fake, etc. Despite this difficult climate, some auction houses continue to break sales records in those fields. However, these records are almost only concentrated on well-defined types of objects, originating from few different cultures, well-known to collectors.

Tell Me Your Goddess Name: Decolonizing Beauty Standards

Here we are again, navigating in the critical exploration of the best of Tiktok. This time, I crossed paths with a trend which, at first glance, seemed quite commendable, but nevertheless couldn’t prevent me from questioning our still existing representation patterns.

Playlist Convergence #2

Discover the second playlist by Objective Convergence, designed for a day at the beach, an early evening cocktail, or a at-home dance session.
Featuring Rodrigo Amarante, Natalia Lafourcade, Gal Costa, La Muchacha, Lido Pimienta, Paloma Mami, and more.

The cacique of Sutatausa: a story of resilience

The doctrinal church of Saint John the Baptist in Sutatausa, Colombia is now open to the public after recent restoration. Inside, you can find a syncretic mural depicting an indigenous Muisca praying. This representation of exceptional quality, beyond the archaeological testimony, tells us the story of the resilience of a people in the preservation of its traditions, resisting to time, destruction, and oppressors.

TikTok, to the rescue

As some people used last year’s lockdown to get into yoga, reconnect with themselves or start cooking for the first time, a lot of us got sucked into social media, but not always to be a total waste of time. This is how I discovered @shinanova – Shina Novalinga – and her mother @kayuulanov, both Inuk throat singers sharing about their culture on Tiktok and Instagram. A new kind of content on the platform that made me wonder if we may have missed a step regarding preserving intangible heritage. Did social media become our last chance?

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