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M.I.A. Says She "Can’t Put Out A Video Because It’s Shot In Africa"

M.I.A. says she's being prevented from putting out her new Côte d'Ivoire dance video because of "cultural appropriation."


On Monday, M.I.A. took to Twitter to voice her thoughts on "cultural appropriation" and open the floor for discussion. "I wanna talk about cultural appropriation!," she wrote. "I've been told I can't put out a video because it's shot in Africa." The 39-year-old artist, born in London of Sri Lankan Tamil heritage, then asked, "What happens when I shoot videos in America or Germany it makes no sense to the 00.01% of artists like me."

According to M.I.A., the video in question is a one-take shot of a male dancer in Côte d'Ivoire, who she says she spent two years locating. "The video is 1 take shot of a dancer ! The best in the wide world! And he wasn't ever gonna make "_____got talent," she said.

"If the music industry allows an African artist to come through this year on intnl level, I would gladly give him this video for free," the singer added.

It's certainly tough to weigh in without having actually seen the video. We wonder if what's actually being discussed is the creative control and agency of the Ivorian artist whose work is being distributed.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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