Here is the second train of thought spun off from our ancient navigator. Inspired, a little, by the Help Portrait project, about which I may have more to say anon.
We're losing stuff. Parts of our story are being lost. This has been going on since stories were there to lose, of course. As soon as you have two human cultures it will occur to at least one of them that they other could be subsumed and destroyed.
Things like science, large scale economies, and conveniently distant Gods lend themselves to the tools and methods which make destroying other cultures easier. All the happy savages who see God in every stone and thank the tree spirit every time they chop down a tree, they get subsumed at best, and often simply murdered en masse.
I do not propose that these cultures ought to be preserved in amber, either in photographs or on reservations (although the former is harmless and often historically useful). Cultures do and ought to evolve, to merge and fragment.
In fact, I have no particular program.
What I do propose is that as artists these cultures have ideas and themes to offer. In turn, perhaps our borrowings keep a little of what would otherwise be lost.
Be respectful, of course, but be fearless. Don't let some jerkoff tell you that you can't do that because appropriation. Don't fall into the easy traps of mockery or of bland documentation.
The program is specifically of appropriation and integration. This is how cultures evolve, each borrows the best from the neighbor, the antecedent, the conquered.
Get to borrowin'!