Seeking and Selling Authenticity in Michoacan

20130716_20180120130703_16153720130716_201756crafting-identityREPORTAGEM BASTANTE DIFERENTE

Tropics of Meta


Longtime friend of Tropics of Meta Pavel Shlossberg just published his first book, a fantastic ethnographic study of traditional and contemporary arts and crafts in Mexico — and the complex cultural politics that emerge when interested outsiders, such as tourists and art dealers, impose their own ideas about what’s “true” or “authentic” about other people’s cultures.  It’s a story as old as art and anthropology themselves, but Shlossberg tells it with a sharp eye and a fresh voice.  Certain readers will undoubtedly recognize the verve and wit of his prose from a dissertation writing group lo these many years ago in Morningside Heights.  Check out Crafting Identity: Transnational Indian Arts and the Politics of Race in Central Mexicofrom University of Arizona Press.  Here’s an excerpt:

Richard and Sue Murray, who live in Los Angeles, stumbled into Tocuaro on December 26, 2003. It was the Lonely Planet Mexico guidebook…

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