Saturday, May 17, 2008

Muddying the waters

I've been working on an executive summary to introduce Heritance to prospective donors. After writing a paragraph about the importance of promoting cultural diversity, I found myself wondering about the tradeoffs between a community's right to assert it's cultural identity, and the right of the individual to a distinct or different take on that identity. The executive summary may not be the ideal place to tease this nuance out but I suppose I believe something like the following:

Of course, any individual's personal identity is a complex amalgam only partially described by their cultural affiliations. A community's right to assert its cultural identity is properly limited by the individual's right to define their own personal identity as well as by the right to dissenting perspectives on the version concocted by one's own or another cultural or social group. Such differences in perspective and interpretation can be source of tremendous friction. Navigating those differences with tolerance and respect lies at the heart of successful intercultural and interpersonal dialog. These are the skills and practices that the Open Museum seeks to promote.

No comments: