Monday, March 10, 2014

Next Magazine validates cultural appropriation of the 2014 Black Party

In an article posted to Next Magazine's Web site last week, an uncredited write-up of the upcoming 2014 Black Party was described as a "mysterious look at the beautiful corners of India."

The article in Next Magazine never seemed to interview people connected with the Black Party promoter, The Saint at Large, which has stirred controversy with the South Asian and Hindu communities in New York over the planned theme for this year's Black Party. Some South Asians and Hindus have expressed concerns that the theme of this year's Black Party "fetishizes several cultural icons, including Hindu deities, which we see as a larger phenomenon of exotification of South Asian symbols and dress in writing, art, henna, yoga, and other art forms and practices."

A South Asian group named SALGA NY has organized a Facebook event calling for an open dialogue with The Saint at Large to resolve issues over the Black Party's controversial theme, but people connected with The Saint at Large have thus far turned down entreating requests from SALGA NY members. Furthermore, it's been reported on Facebook that the administrator of The Saint at Large's Facebook page has been deleting comments that question the wisdom of this year's Black Party's theme.

Representatives with The Saint and Large and The Task Force have not yet responded to e-mails requesting their comments to the controversy.

In the interim, members of SALGA NY have announced plans to host a rival party with their own authentic South Asian theme on the same evening as the Black Party.

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