Art Written Assignment

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For this post select one of the three topics below to read about and give your opinion on. All three topics revolve around the shift in thinking about what is acceptable for artworks, public statues, and imagery connected to colonization, racist histories, or the enslavement of people. 

Topic #1 - Returning Stolen and Looted Artwork  

For this topic, read the following articles to get you started (you're welcome to also do your own research) about recent moves to return artworks to their home countries after they were stolen or looted. This is called cultural patrimony, restitution, or reparations. In 300 words or more, summarize the debate and include your opinion. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See here. 

Some questions to think about include: Should all artwork be returned to the country where it was created? What would be the benefits? What do some cite as the cons of such a move? What is the responsibility of museums? 

Topic #2 - Removal of Statues of Controversial Figures

For this topic, read the following articles to get you started (you're welcome to also do your own research) about the recent removal of statues of Confederates and others who have controversial histories (such as their enslavement of people, role in colonization, racists beliefs, etc.) across the United States and Europe. This began a few years ago but over the last few weeks, with the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, more have been removed from public view either by city officials or protestors. In California and the Southwest, there are few Confederate statues. Instead there are more works of public art connected to colonization and violence against Native Americans via the Spanish Missionaries and Conquistadors which are also coming down. In 300 words or more, summarize the debate and include your opinion. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See here. 

Some questions to think about include: Should these controversial statues be removed? What are some proposals for what should be done with them?  These are now being removed en masse as a result of protests and public outcry that started with the Black Lives Matter movement. What do you think was the tipping point and why do you think it didn't happen sooner? 

Topic #3 - Racial Stereotypes in American Brands 

For this topic, read the following articles to get you started (you're welcome to also do your own research) about the way large American food companies are addressing racial stereotypes in their brands such as Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat, Land O'Lakes, and Uncle Ben's. Land O'Lakes was one of the first this year to announce the change to their logo and the others have followed suit more recently. Recently, sports teams like the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians are in talks to change their names as well. In 300 words or more, summarize the debate and include your opinion. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See here. 

Some questions to think about include: Like in topic #2, this call to reevaluate racist imagery and connections in these logos and/or names is not new but companies and franchises are more apt now to do something about it now. Why do you think this is?  What are the reasons that support such a change and how can these images and/or names be seen as offensive and connected to racial stereotypes? 

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