We recently changed our business name from Social Pow Wow to Curly Carrot and wanted to use our own little space on the internet to explain why.
During the Easter Holidays, a tweet was shared tagging us @powwowsocial.
A twitter discussion ensued on the origin of our name. ‘Did we identify as indigenous?’, ‘Did we realise that this was a play on a sacred term?’, ‘We should know that co-opting indigenous language for non-indigenous consumption and profit wasn’t done anymore’. This heated and valid discussion about cultural appropriation then moved on to Instagram.
We want to start by saying sorry. We made a mistake and, once it was pointed out, we realised that it was inappropriate for us to use ‘pow wow’ in any form. We are passionate about what we do and care about respecting people and doing the right thing. We didn’t respond immediately because, in all honesty, we were terrified of saying the wrong thing and being misconstrued. At the time, we also had a lot going on: a family bereavement and family holidays with no wifi!
The business name Social Pow Wow is one that we have used together since March 2018 and Georgie independently since 2013. We had never received any queries about its origins. At the time, it had seemed ideal: ‘Pow’ and ‘Wow’ as two separate words, reminded us of the ‘pow’, ‘wow’ ‘zap, ‘boom’ onomatopoeia in vintage comics. 2 different words that represented what we were trying to achieve with our business service.
This has been a learning experience. We just wish those involved had reached out to us privately to point out the sensitivities and implications of our business name, rather than choosing to publicly shame. However, being on social media is about listening to others, seeing different points of view, having honest discussions and learning from them!
We want to share the video ‘The Problem With Wokeness’ released by Ayishat Akanbion this year. It really helped us to process what happened and to understand the current cultural climate better.
Once again, we are truly sorry for causing offence.
What makes us human? – making mistakes.
What makes us human? – kindness and compassion.