During Sunday night’s VMAs, Taylor Swift debuted her latest video for the masses, “Wildest Dreams.” By Monday morning that dream had turned into a nightmare with everyone from urban blogs to NPR going in on the video for romanticizing colonialism.
The issue is the set for “Wildest Dreams” is a nondescript African country of some sort — as evidenced by the antelope, zebras, and a Cecil the lion type predator carefully placed behind Taylor as seen in the shot above. There’s also the safari style of dress characteristic of the early days of British colonial rule and the omission of any native people who actually call Africa home that has some saying the video insensitively mimics the days of European settlement when foreigners saw the continent as nothing more than vast land for the taking. And when you think about the negative consequences of that paradigm that people native to the fifty-four countries that make up Africa are still enduring today, it’s hardly a dream.
In looking at the video and the plot line of “Wildest Dreams,” I truly don’t believe Taylor intentionally set out to glorify white reign in the motherland. The likely problem is she simply didn’t think about the message she would be sending. And that’s often the underlying issue in all of these cases, from wiping out our history and current existence altogether to appropriating our culture for themselves, a number of privileged individuals simply don’t think about the implications of their actions because no one’s ever forced them to. However, one can only claim ignorance for so long.
Weigh in Clutchettes, do you think Taylor Swift’s latest video is offensive?
Photo Credits: YouTube Screenshot