After revealing the video for her latest single, "Wildest Dreams," at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift is now under attack for the Joseph Kahn-directed video, which is said to portray an "African colonial fantasy" although it features an all-Caucasian cast in the middle of an undisclosed African location.
The video heavily depicts old-school romantic ideals paired with African scenes, featuring a backdrop of wild grazing animals and Swift staring into space dreaming of a passionate romance. Various media outlets have perceived the video as portraying racist undertones, showcasing parallels, particularly with exploitation of the colonial era in Africa. Lauren Duca, Huffington Post entertainment reporter, describes the video as reminiscing the era of Pocahontas.
"Instead of the cultural appropriation that has become almost status quo in today's pop music, Swift has opted for the bolder option of actually just embodying the political exploitation of a region and its people. It's brave, really. Almost as brave as moving sensuously in the vicinity of a real-life lion" she wrote.
The Daily Dot took matters even further with Nico Lang's in depth analysis of the video's negative cultural portrayals. "Even the most casual observer would have noticed that-for a clip that's set in Africa-it's about as white as a Sunday morning farmer's market," Lang argues, before concluding " Just because Taylor Swift's videos are out of Africa doesn't mean her politics have to be, too."
Watch the video below and make up your own mind about its underlying intentions:
Swift's "Wildest Dreams," is the fifth single off of her fifth studio album, 1989, which has exceeded over eight million copies in sales worldwide. The "Love Story" songwriter was quick to announce that she's offering the profits to the African Parks Foundation of America charity but fellow artist, Nicki Minaj, recently took jabs Swift for "defending racist media."