Transnational Resistance or Cultural Exotica? Interrogating the Multicultural Accommodation of the Kufiya
OISE/University of Toronto
The paper focuses on the multicultural incorporation of kufiya to argue that the coded aesthetics of dress is a salient non-verbal political signifier that marks transnational identities of resistance. However its resistive communication is ruptured and dehistoricized by its incorporation into the hegemonic zone of multicultural Canada. Paradoxically, multiculturalism’s disembodied production of the kufiya is further appropriated and commodified by mainstream countercultures as exotic chic through an Orientalist frame. The paper analyzes the cultural appropriation of the kufiya as a political practice whereby it concurrently operates within and naturalizes unequal power and social relationships. The processes that enable dominant groups to access, possess and (re)define cultural productions of marginal social groups are also interrogated.
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© borderlands ejournal 2008