The cover of Kala was based on a PhotoBooth selfie she snapped on her Mac and IMed to someone while traveling through Africa, India, and Jamaica. She wanted to “go around the world and look at the ugliness,” she said. “You weren’t gonna fix it, but I sort of believed you could through art.” — LOOK AT ME QUOTING MY OWN DAMN ARTICLE. Anyway I went to MIA’s book talk yesterday, you can read my piece here. She talks pre- and post-internet art, every album (forthcoming too), her Versace collabo, getting her mates off smack, and hating current web design. MORE IMPORTANTLY, CUTE PHOTOS OF HER KID.
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