What started as a grumble over racial stereotypes in the Shake It Off video turned into cries of “cut the white feminist nonsense” after an ill-advised Twitter exchange with rapper Nicki Minaj in July. And now, with the colonial-fantasist video for single Wildest Dreams –
Premiered on Sunday 30 August after this year’s MTV VMAs – it looks like people have yet another reason to bash out an enraged thinkpiece. This time, writers across the web – including the Huffington Post, Salon and the Daily Dot –
Have now taken issue with her new video’s romanticised view of European colonialism in Africa – and we’re yet to even learn in which one of the 54 African countries director Joseph Kahn even shot Wildest Dreams.
Fine. So, people are angry on the internet. Welcome to another day on planet Earth.
Swift and her team couldn’t have been so naive as to think that critics wouldn’t have opinions on an Out of Africa-style video that not only replicates the colonialist tendency to exoticise an entire continent,
but does so without factoring in the perspectives of any actual Africans. Decolonisation on the continent only really kicked into gear about 65 years ago, so for NPR contributors like James Kassaga Arinaitwe and Viviane Rutabingwa;
The traumatic and violent legacy of European minority rule in Africa feels a little too fresh to look at through a rose-tinted lens in 2015