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Accurate Representation of Ethnicity in Historical Fictions

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Funt Solo:
There are various positions on this argument:

1. Ethnicity in historical fictions is not accurate - there's too much white-washing.
2. Ethnicity in historical fictions is not accurate - there are too many unrealistic insertions.
3. It's muddy - on the one hand, there is some white-washing, and on the other, there are some unrealistic insertions.

Discuss.

SmallBlueThing(Reborn):
Everybody in history was a sort of grey colour. As we're the trees, the sky, the grass and everything. Evidence: Every film before approximately 1930 and every photograph before 1861. End of.

SBT
 

M.I.K.:
'Tis true. Then, in the 1960s, folk made the mistake of swirling about and mixing up all of the new colours far too much, which led to an excess of muddy oranges and browns in the seventies. Took until well into the 1980s before people managed to get all of it off the wallpaper and soft furnishings.

Hawkmumbler:

--- Quote from: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) on 04 July, 2021, 05:32:52 PM ---Everybody in history was a sort of grey colour. As we're the trees, the sky, the grass and everything. Evidence: Every film before approximately 1930 and every photograph before 1861. End of.

SBT

--- End quote ---

Tis true, I have (unproven) photographic evidence to prove (or disprove) it too!

'A lull before the Battle of Hastings', photographer: Verity Lambert, 1066

pauljholden:

--- Quote from: Funt Solo on 04 July, 2021, 05:10:44 PM ---There are various positions on this argument:

1. Ethnicity in historical fictions is not accurate - there's too much white-washing.

--- End quote ---
I think this implies there's a deliberate "let's remove poc from this narrative" when often it's the result of decades and decades of european / white people making media for their own consumption (where racism is a factor, no doubt in who gets to make that media) and centring it on their experiences (so ... incompetence rather than outright malevolence?). Witness the recent outrage about - was it 1917? when someone moaned about the insertion of a Sikh soldier into WWI, fundamentally there were battalions of soldiers from all over, but we're so used to seeing movies with nothing but white protagonists that one POC looks weirdly out of place to our eyes.

It's something I try and keep an eye on, as a white chubby middle aged bloke from Belfast, all my characters tend to be me, so I try - but my world experience is limited, to broaden that out as best as possible. Not always successfully, I joke I can draw three different white blokes, two different women and maybe one different POC, everything else are those with beards or moustaches.


--- Quote ---2. Ethnicity in historical fictions is not accurate - there are too many unrealistic insertions.

--- End quote ---
I would pound to a penny bet for every "this insertion is unrealistic" there are about a hundred absolutely bizarre real life historical antecedents that would boggle your eyes and be so unlikely you'd never believe that they were real except for the fact they were. So I don't think it's POSSIBLE to have too many unrealistic insertions. But this will depend on what the fiction is - a realistic wwii story? Plenty of US black soldiers, but none mixed or mingled with the US white soldiers. So that would stick out. (But if you're writing a narrative where it's true to life, but fictional I think it's on you to make some sort of point abotu this) But you're doing a fictional wwii storey with monsters, knock yourself out - if someone is gonna complain about the realisim of a black sergeant in a white US army regiment, but have no complaints about everyone being eaten by a NAZI WEREWOLF I have zero time for that bullshirt.

 

--- Quote ---3. It's muddy - on the one hand, there is some white-washing, and on the other, there are some unrealistic insertions.

--- End quote ---

I don't think it is muddy - complain about it in factual things, if it's fiction then you've no legs to stand on.

BTW: I draw too many white people in Dredd, I'm aware of it, it's something I try every day to change.

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