Monday marked the release of the music video for M.I.A.'s "Born Free," the lead single off the British rapper/singer/visual artist's forthcoming third album, and yet another clip from a female pop star this year that caused quite a stir. Continuing the discussion begun by the open thread Kjerstin started yesterday, I thought I'd share my thoughts.
If you, like me, think M.I.A. jumped the world pop shark with the "Born Free" video, try Abjeez, an Iranian pop/ska group based in Sweden fronted by sisters Melody and Safoura Safavi. Their music is political, personal, satirical, funny, catchy and accompanied by great videos (included after the jump!).
To bring you this week's installment in our Mad World series, Bitch went on-location to Console-ing Passions, an international conference on media and feminism. We figured that with big questions like, "How is technology influencing advertising effects?" and "Where are the women in media creation and distribution?" we needed to consult the experts.
M.I.A. is not shying away from controversy in her new video, the latest in epic music videos that would never get aired on TV, and weren't made to (a phenom that doesn't look like it's going away any time soon). Cinematic but super violent, it's definitely a commentary on oppressive military governments and cultural profiling. To M.I.A.'s disappointment, it was banned from YouTube within a day of being posted.
Trigger warning: Contains graphic beatings, gun violence, and carnage.
Although dour, USA Today's stats-heavy piece on Gen Y's financial woes isn't anything we haven't heard before. We're the first generation in a century likely to end up monetarily worse off than our parents. Student debt load has increased 24% since 2004. 37% of 18-29 year-olds are underemployed or unemployed. And the beat goes on and on.
Kelsey's postings of the "Feminist Rappers" videos drew more than laughs--it had some commenters asking, "But what about the real feminist rappers?"
So here's a genre- decade-spanning compilation of feminist rappers, hip-hoppers, and spoken word artists, from the 90s beats of Yo Yo to the indie crossover of Mirah and Katastrophe. Don't forget to add your recs!
For the past three days, a few of us have been participating in the Console-ing Passions International Feminist Media conference at the University of Oregon. Some amazing feminist scholars are here from all over the world, sharing their thoughts on everything from post-racial readings of reality television to the ways in which new media are affecting labor politics. We're getting some great ideas to bring back to Bitch, but in the meantime, our enthusiasm can best be expressed through the medium of the LOL:
A couple of articles I read this week led me to ponder whether or not an antagonistic intergenerational rivalry-slash-pissing contest when it comes to who has it worse in the recessionary job market is truly warranted. It certainly makes a convenient (if overused) narrative, but, in the short-term, are Gen Y workers really the biggest victims of the downturn*? Sure, we've got student loan debt and the lack of a financial cushion to worry about, but our lives also likely have a degree of flexibility (for example, the ability to move back in with Mom & Dad, or to relocate for a position or to accept a lower-paying temporary job) that older workers with established careers and the conventional trappings of the American Dream can't boast.