ย โ€œThe thing is, in an increasingly diverse and multi-cultural society, the lines here are going to get blurrier and blurrier. But the problem now, in this day and age, in the socioeconomic and political backdrop weโ€™re living our lives in front of, is that white people are responsible for oppressing โ€œblacknessโ€ and then claiming it for their own purposes. ย โ€” Grace Medford ( Journalist Noisey UK)

The diverse cultural production within global urban scenes facilitates cutting edge music, dance and art. The visibility of these global sounds, arts and conversations feed through theirย spatial, cultural and political positions an ongoing discourse around cultural appropriation, authenticity and power. These sensitive exchanges highlight the power imbalance and the erasure of the global influence of contemporary urban arts & culture that no longer can ignored or used as sources of inspiration by brands across the globe. In what ways can we define these cultural collisions between urban culture, media and brands? What does it mean for the artistic production and agency of individual creators, collectives and producers?

These questions have inspired Metro54 to examine appropriation in contemporary urban arts and culture for the upcoming two years. The program is curated, developed and facilitated in collaboration with a group of guest curators, artists, musicians and cultural producers.

By organizing lectures, conversations, exhibitions, workshops and performances, Metro54 wants to intervene in the current discussion about cultural appropriation and seek how it can lead to a more in-depth discourse around culture making.