For the international women’s week at Vanier, I attended the Slav and Kanata event. The main goal of this presentation was to denounce Robert Lepage’s culture appropriation. The event was presented by two speakers : a black and native american woman. The native american woman had meeting with Robert Lepage in order to understand his culture appropriation toward indigenous people. In fact, Robert Lepage directed a play few years ago about indigenous culture, and the woman was upset at him because first of all the play did not represent indigenous culture well – the quality of the costumes looked so “cheap”, but the main reason of why she criticized the play was because none of the comedians were indigenous people, so it did not represent their culture well. During the meeting, she asked him that next time he should hire native american actors and Robert Lepage said he wasn’t interested. The other woman also had a meeting with Mr. Lepage because he directed another play but this time about slavery, she criticized his work because she didn’t like how Robert portrayed black people. The main purpose of this presentation was speak out about the fact that white people have a lot of privileges and it is quite difficult to be a minority because will see you as “inferior” and they won’t take you seriously.
I really enjoyed the presentation because the two speakers are both minorities and it was interesting to learn about their past experiences. I also loved the fact that those two women were willing to do their best to defend their nation and culture. During this presentation, I learned that if there’s something that you dislike, you have too stood up and defend your beliefs and values. I come from a middle eastern background and when I was younger, I received a lot of racial comments because of how I looked – the colour of my skin, and these two women inspired me to not being afraid of defending my people.
I enjoyed the talk, the audience seemed so interested as well. A lot of students were asking questions. I learned to not being afraid of defending your culture and nation. If I could attend this event another time I would because a lot of issues were brought to the talk such as ; racism, cultural appropriation, propaganda, and etc.