A shot from Outlandish’s video for their cover of “Aicha.”
Last year, I got a call from a young cousin who informed me, with sheer glee, that the new One Direction music video featured a young Muslim in hijab. Those few seconds in the video that highlighted a giddy, veiled teenager were a breakthrough for young identifiable Muslimahs in the world.
I think this meant that I was supposed to embrace the boy band that I had successfully been trying to avoid. I must admit I checked out the video. OK, I can’t lie. I watched it on repeat about ten times. (It’s a catchy song). And yes, from 1:20 to 1:23 in the video may seem like young eager Muslimah pop fans have been well represented. No inferences of weakness, oppression and need of immediate liberation. There isn’t race. There isn’t creed. There isn’t blatant stereotyping of women; there is just 1D fangirling – which unites us all.
Well what’s interesting is that Morehouse is not known as a school that focused a great deal on the creative arts, but many of us pursued art because of our tremendous desire to offer something artistically meaningful to the world that was particularly relevant to reclaiming our dignity as a people. Continue reading →
Florence + the Machine released the latest video this past Friday, for “No Light No Light,” the third single from their new album Ceremonials. Since frontwoman Florence Welch is known for her theatrical music video productions, the clip was eagerly awaited by her fans.
The video, directed by Iceland-based duo Arni & Kinski, has already garnered over 800,000 views on Youtube, in addition to generating countless responses over the images in the video. It’s actually slightly astounding how much racist imagery they managed to pack into just four minutes and 15 seconds. Continue reading →
Saw “Man Down” by Rihanna. Every victim/survivor of rape is unique, including how they THINK they’d like justice to be handed out. During my rape I tried to shoot my rapist, but I missed. Over the years I realized that killing my rapist would’ve added insult to injury. The DESIRE to kill someone who abused/raped you is understandable, but unless it’s self defense in the moment to save your life, [it] just ADDS to your troubles #mandown. I repeat, SELF DEFENSE to save yourself/protect yourself, I’m ALL for. Otherwise victim/survivor taking justice into your own hands with violence equals more trouble for you!! The “Man Down” video did a GREAT job of getting the entire world talking about rape. I hope that leads to healing and prevents rape. – Via The Root
Well, they kind of warned us with that picture, didn’t they?
Thanks to our reader Abigail for tipping us off to this glowing feature in Spin Magazine about L.A.-based rock Grouplove. And while it’s good to see an up-and-coming group get some shine, the video for the band’s single “Colours” takes a turn far, far off the Common Sense reserv – uh, let’s just say it’s not very sensible. We can’t embed the video (though you can watch it at the link to the article), but there’s a plot round-up under the cut.
Earlier today, I was on the phone with Bacon Grits, chit chatting, planning my outfit, my day, flirting, and he asked me I had seen the Window Seat video? I continued looking for my fuchsia leggings, turned it on, put him on speaker, and continued to chat. I sat down in front of the computer half way watching, listening, and then I noticed, “Erykah Badu is stripping?”
Then I tell him, wait, is she going to get naked?
He says, oh you haven’t seen it, wait until the end.
The video features Badu walking through Dallas’s historic Dealey Plaza, the site of the Kennedy assassination, while stripping down to nothing but a hat. The crowd of bystanders includes children. It ends with what appears to be Badu’s own assassination by gunshot, after she removes the last of her clothing.
The internet has been ablaze with wide-ranging reactions and commentary following the video’s debut last wekeend:
“It is not just about the nudity — it is also about where she decided to film this piece of junk….and then to include the gun shot….it was very disrespectful. … she did this with no regard for anyone else but herself.” – thm, posted on the Dallas Morning News site, March 30th
“I think Erykah Badu is brilliant. That video was the deepest, most sincere, undeniably real video I’ve ever seen. EVER.” –Tyeastia, posted on CNN.com March 31st
“Sorry. I appreciate the statement and the thought behind the video, and I’m also a huge Badu fan. That said, the nudity and subsequent mock assassination? With the children present? Sorry, I’m not feeling it.” –Shola Akinnuso, posted on The Root, March 30th
Badu’s video is undoubtedly an atom bomb of visual imagery. As an artist who has never shied away from articulating her consciousness-raising agenda through metaphor, the Window Seat video has prompted many to ask, does Erykah Badu’s booty obscure her artistic message? Continue reading →
After two viewings, that’s about all I can glean from Kirsten Dunst’s cover of “Turning Japanese,” which premiered late last year as part of an exhibition by Takashi Murakami at London’s Tate Museum. According to Anime News Network, the video is a collaboration between Murakami and director McG, which makes this – to give everyone the benefit of the doubt – somewhat puzzling as an interpretation of anything close to fandom.
Dunst, to her credit, has a history with the medium: she voiced the title character in the English-language adaptation of Kiki’s Delivery Service, and has expressed an affection for Sailor Moon – which explains the costume – in past interviews. But instead of presenting her as a Majokko (“Magical girl” or “Witch Girl”), MCG here threw her under the same bus Scarlett Johansson rode in on for Lost In Translation.
Start with the musical selection: to be sure, “Turning Japanese” isn’t about actually being Japanese (nor is it about masturbation. Well, apparently.). And inter-cutting shots of her with hentai imagery – like, say, the upskirt shot on the billboard seconds after the one on Dunst – takes Dunst’s character out of the sympathetic realm and into Male Gaze territory. And as someone who had to sit through Terminator: Salvation, I don’t think McG thought it through that thoroughly.
Finally, there’s the “interactions” with the locals. The vast majority of them are wordless Others, watching the camera with blank looks. The guys in the jumpsuits, it seems, are members of a local dance troupe, and they at least get to be active. But otherwise the actual Japanese people here are either spectators, or look like they’re wondering who this girl is who’s ripping off Gwen Stefani’s act.
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World