This video is definitely beautiful, but all that glitters is not gold. What at first glance seems revolutionary - arabs looking fabulous and outlaw in a western music video- really big ups the stunts of some of the most privileged brats the world has ever known, Gulf boys w/ plenty of time for car tricks in countries run by imported slaves & where women can’t even legally drive. Made in Maghreb because in the Arabia they would have arrested you… for all the wrong reasons.
Global/globe-trotting DJ/Arabic music expert/G Filastine on MIA’s new vid, which I too have complex feelings about tho they are not as informed as this. Obviously it looks fucking awesome, and I love MIA, and this song, I cannot stop bumping it. BUT, HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT. Particularly IRT the fake “Arabic” writing on the single, the red carpet burqa she wore (which I still can’t decide if it’s amazing and subversive or pretty fucked up), and the background dancers in hijab (the latter examples greatly offended friends who are Muslim). What do we think about when we think about cultural appropriation, and who do we ascribe it to? Also, who “gets to” ascribe it? MULLING