Artisans ask to work on patents against cultural appropriation

In the face of recurrent practices of cultural appropriation or plagiarism of native peoples' designs, Mexican indigenous women artisans exposed to the Fund for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (Filac) the need to work on patents or denominations of territorial origin.

On several occasions international fashion brands have been inspired or taken original designs for their products. Now the company Carolina Herrera replicated designs of native Mexican people in its Resort 2020 collection.

At the beginning of the year, networks of women met with the president of the international organization, Myrna Cunningham, to which they raised, among other diverse issues, this need.

In an interview with this medium, Cunningham cited that "this topic (theft of designs) came out strongly, we must work on the subject of patents with great care, of intellectual property, but also the issue of sui generis mechanisms, that is how we recognize the the denomination of territorial origin of that group, and let's make a Latin American stamp of indigenous women, which demonstrates that a certain product is made by indigenous women. This is the mandate. "

After highlighting the need to shield them from this cultural appropriation, he said that this happens on many occasions, due to "ignorance of the traditional collective knowledge of indigenous women, and the fact that there are only patent mechanisms for individual and non-collective rights in the different countries. "

He added that "we recognize that they have always been entrepreneurs, but neither recognize them as artists or as entrepreneurs, and do not have access to credit, technical assistance services, do not have access to the market although they themselves develop initiatives of economic autonomy in their territories".

The artisans "recommended that from the Filac we work in the establishment of a network of trade of products of indigenous women, a network that has its own seal, which is built on the entrepreneurial capacity that women have".

In the Senate an initiative was presented that allows indigenous groups to own the rights of their creations and thus avoid the theft of their traditional designs.


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