Friday, February 11, 2022

Reading list: Dalindyebo Shabalala on traditional knowledge, insiders, and The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Reading list: Dalindyebo Shabalala, “Do we need Exit rules for Traditional Knowledge? Lessons from Solomon Linda, and the Mbube/‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ case”

Really interesting work, which resonates both with communities from which traditional knowledge/cultural expressions come and communities with different boundaries, like tattoo artists, scientists sharing samples, and fan authors. From the intro:

In this article, I raise the question of whether the primary problem for much of what we think of as misappropriation is that insiders, members of the community, cross the boundary of the community and 1) make claims themselves, or 2) collaborate with outsiders to make claims, or 3) engage in relationships (commercial or otherwise) with outsiders that result in the outsider misappropriating the TK/TCEs. 

The discussion of the evidentiary gaps about the song’s creation also made me think of the literature on what we can know, or guess, about the lives of people whose lives weren’t considered worth recording by the contemporary people who created documentary evidence, who only show up in preserved records as (distorted) reflections. E.g., Marisa Fuentes’ Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive.

No comments: