“Cultural appropriation” is a term that often carries negative associations where encounters across cultures are seen wholly in terms of unequal power relations and only a one-way relationship of cultural theft is possible. These lessons, based on considering the works of Le Corbusier, architectural king of European high Modernism, and Nek Chand, a less well-known Indian architect, offer a different view. They suggest that culture could be a sphere where people from former colonial and colonised countries might have more fruitful encounters with exciting artistic results.
The lesson on the history of Chandigarh points to the complexity of the political processes of decolonisation in India and a reciprocal aspect between Indian and Western culture.
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