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  • Ahwa Habeeb

Lend me your E.A.R - Extractivism, Artifacts, and Repatriations



Lend me your E.A.R - Extractivism, Artifacts, and Repatriations


Some of our biggest concerns at Maverick Musing are the unethical and unsustainable practices used within the jewellery industry, one example being extractivism. This is the process of extracting natural resources - namely gold, diamonds, and metal - from the earth for sale on the world market. This process is deemed necessary in order for the jewellery industry to thrive, and meet today’s economic demands. However, the social and environmental effects it leaves are detrimental to local communities.


This musing will discuss the process of extractivism parallel to repatriation. By definition, repatriation of cultural heritage is the return of artifacts to their original homelands. The common argument for the repatriation of artifacts is that they are best appreciated and understood in their original cultural context. For many communities, the retention of their cultural heritage, held by Western organisations, is still an ongoing fight. Ultimately, both extractivism and sought-after repatriation result in a community's loss of cultural identity and connection to their homeland.