Monday, February 13, 2012

From "Hyphen" Mag: "MIA and the Real Bad Girls"

MIA from Hyphen Magazine post
Hyphen Magazine writer Thanu Yakupitiyage offers this smart critique of MIA's latest video and takes aim at stereotypes conveyed in MIA's latest video.  In this critique, she mentions the artist's capitalizing on the events of the Arab Spring: "But in “Bad Girls”’ depictions of the Arab world, I see a false, hyped-up misrepresentation of the region we now know for the Arab Spring. I’m bothered by M.I.A.’s reproduction of Orientalist tropes -- “Orientalist” in Edward Said’s sense, of a distorted lens through which Arabs are viewed and “experienced” by the West. “Bad Girls” is just a hipper, high-definition stereotype of Arabs as desert-dwelling, sword-wielding, horse-riding, and dangerous.  M.I.A. and the video’s director, Romain Gavrais, perform controversy for the sake of controversy and cash in on the Arab Spring. They aestheticize the recent uprisings while avoiding a precise political statement."   Yakupitiyage also questions the possibility that MIA feels she a right to claim kinship because she is "brown." There has been a lot discussed about the evolving brand of Orientalism slowly growing.  Disturbing. Read: "MIA and the Real Bad Girls."