Me too, and that’s where everything really gets murky. But I think the answer comes down to personal choice and ethics, and with what each individual is comfortable with. I agree w what the guys said about following your interests and getting to really learn about things while also making your art. One might ask themselves, “what is my motivation for this project?” to check in. And again, I think it’s going to be a different answer for different ppl and I’ve got to respect that. Also, it’s none of my business to assume someone is of a certain culture or race, and to try and ‘police’ someone on that.
My personal leaning is to proceed with the following understandings: First, that ‘content like this’ has really only been allowed to be created (or more accurately, seen) by people of white descent thus far, and so it’s more a push to get more voices involved than it is a hard fast rule about saying “you can’t do this.” It’s also reckoning with the fact that the content thus far created has been, historically and generally, incomplete and racist, and dismissive of the people.
Second: it should be noted that it takes some real work to realize one’s own internalized racism about subcultures. Like @Binski said about that author, “he still comes across as a bit colonialist.” For an example, it makes me think of what I believe Will said in his class about portfolio building (I could really be mixing lessons etc up lol). He said to include people of all different ethnicities and genders in your portfolio, but also make sure you’re not creating caricatures of those different ethnicities and genders. Like, it’s important to realize you might do that if you’re not paying attention. (My point here is that we might accidentally be racist, and we need to be ready to look for it, ask for feedback, and accept that we might have gotten something wrong.)
So for me, I’d probably not do that project, because I’d rather just cheer on artists like Ben Pease. Were I more inclined to do that project, and was going to make it public, I might look to see how I can make it a collaboration with someone who has a much more personal knowledge/ experience with it, and I’d, in essence, take a bit of a back seat- illustrating and learning to my heart’s content, and really making sure I’m not falling into the ‘white savior trope.’ Or, keep it private.
Again though, I’m not trying to tell anyone what they can or cannot do, because honestly, I don’t know. And I think that wouldn’t help anyway because artists are curious and love to explore and that’s wonderful. It’s just a matter of being conscious of context. And I do like @Binski question, ‘is it my story to tell?’
Also, thanks for the great place to have discussion and adding to it. I felt pretty nervous posting that first comment because Where I live, there is a lot of appropriation in art, and these topics generally get heated real quick.