Tag Archives: colonialism in narrative

Fela Kuti: Music is the weapon documentary

Consider this a juxtaposition to the clip about Paul McCartney and Fela.  Here is Fela narrating a portion of his life.  Included in this film are some great musical moments and some insights about what made Fela so dangerous.

In my opinion the liberated space he embodied and willingness to share risks make him a poignant anti-colonial force.   Of course I have problems with Fela’s sexism, but the quotes from the queens in this film give us some insight into their experience.

Of course when you google “Fela’s queens” you get western women reprising the roles of the women who married and risked with Fela.  Perhaps this is colonialism, that I can’t find any interviews with the “queens,” but I can find interviews with Americans playing Fela’s wives on broadway.  Some communications pushes out other communications.

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Filed under colonialism, communication, documentary, feminism, funk & soul, human rights, juxtaposition, music, protest, race, representation

The only white people there: Paul McCartney plays Fela Kuti

If you are interested in culture and race then your ears perk up any time anyone says: “we were the only white people there!”

How these kinds of things sound to ANYONE who isn’t WHITE?   It sort of embodies the kind of toxic insider racist/sexist/colonialist commentary of one insider to another.  I imagine one rich white bank guy leaning over to another rich white banker at a swank lunch to mock people starving in Bangladesh.

But to assume that everyone on the other side of the camera . . .or that everyone listening sympathizes with your own privileged skin color is so toxic that it can only be understood through the sad awareness that much of mass mediated story-telling has been narrated through a particularly white and colonial lens.

It is honestly hard to notice colonialism from the location of the privileged.  So I appreciate whenever an artist or politician, or a hip hop pioneer explains that they were the only white person at a key point in history.

Also an important clip because of the explicit conversation about jacking African music and perhaps the single greatest responses to the accusation of colonialism: “hey man, c’mon!  I’m not doing that.”

Thanks to OkayAfrica for the video.


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Filed under colonialism, cultural appropriation, music, representation