Law will be pushed to protect designs of indigenous art

It is intended to stop the plagiarism of the designs of indigenous peoples by national and foreign companies.

Law will be pushed to protect designs of indigenous art
It is intended to stop the plagiarism of the designs of indigenous peoples by national and foreign companies. Image: Flickr

The designs and iconography of Mexican folk art seek to be protected by the Senate of the Republic, which is going to present a bill to recognize indigenous peoples and communities as holders of rights over the use and exploitation of their cultural elements and identity, to stop the plagiarism of their designs by national and foreign companies.

The initiative comes from the days of work organized last weekend by the Ministry of Culture (SC), the Senate of the Republic, and the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) in the Forum-International Meeting "The Protection of Heritage Cultural as Collective Law ", held at the headquarters of said chamber and in the National Museum of Anthropology.

In September 2018, the magazine Proceso presented an account of the different national and transnational brands and companies that have reproduced the designs of the popular artists of Mexico without the consent of the indigenous peoples.

In the Senate forum, attorneys José Manuel Hermosillo and Carlos Lima said that the defense of the cultural rights of the peoples who possess such knowledge, designs, and traditions should be done through various channels and bodies such as the CNDH, and even before international organizations. as the High Commissioner on Human Rights of the United Nations Organization, but there must also be a law that protects all artisanal production processes such as copyright, intellectual and industrial property, the iconography of the communities.

How plagiarism affects

In the forum, testimonies were presented about the plagiarism that various popular creators have suffered against their ceremonial costumes that have even reached the fashion catwalks or their huipiles printed in Bermuda shorts.

The anthropologist Lourdes Arizpe warned about the invasion of "trinkets" from Asian countries, which she described as a "cultural crime" because they have affected artisans.

Martha Turok, a specialist in textiles, spoke for the creation of a decalogue, apart from a law on the subject, which would be voluntary adherence to move from fair trade to the generation of wealth thanks to the value of knowledge.

It is worth mentioning as an example an expo of Oaxacan products that in recent days was set up in the Plaza Santo Domingo in the Historic Center of this city, where Oaxacan art stores were mixed with some Hindu clothes.

Natalia Toledo participated and pointed out that the point is not that companies pay for the use of cultural elements of the communities, it is not about collections but to protect the art of indigenous peoples, strengthening copyright, by an act of justice and dignity.

Senator Susana Harp announced that a first step has been taken in the protection of this heritage by repealing Article 159 of the Federal Law of Copyright, which "allows the free use of literary, artistic, popular art or artisanal " The initiative was approved in the Senate and its approval is lacking in the Chamber of Deputies.

According to the Senate of the Republic, there are more than 12 million people who make crafts, of which 70 percent are women.