I have to admit that this controversy with Florence + The Machine’s new video is quit fascinating to me. I also was inspired to read up more on both Blackface and Voodoo, specifically Louisiana Voodoo (which I’ve been doing for the last hour or so.)
Now, I’m not going to delete my post, because I still think the video has artistic merit and in relation to the song it’s quite thought provoking - clearly! I am also the type of person to openly and willingly admit when I was wrong and not educated enough on a matter before speaking my voice. I also won’t delete my post, because regardless of how I may have done a brief learning session and have re-evaluated by opinion, and watched the video another time, I still put that opinion out into the world. It seems to me that people who put their ideas or opinions on the internet, then may have changed their mind, or become embarrassed and guilted by people’s reactions, who delete the posts are lacking accountability in their actions - I refuse to do that and I will take responsibility for what I said, but I’m also willing to educate myself, and like I said, admit when I made an uneducated statement.
To those who read what I said regarding the video and my support for it, I apologize if you were upset by it or offended, not my intention. But I think we can all agree that intention is a powerful force, but it is not everything.
Thanks to other folks on Tumblr for inspiring me to educate myself on a matter I clearly did not know enough about - here is a link that sparked me in learning a bit more….
This morning I was having my coffee and I saw something from Billboard.com via Twitter about Florence + The Machine’s new video for “No Light, No Light” which has apparently stirred up quite the controversy for the ethereal singer and her band.
Of course, my interest was sparked, and that song being one of my favorites on the new album - “Ceremonials” I was quite intrigued to watch.
First off, let me start by saying that I understand wholeheartedly why a person would get upset by the make up use in this video. However, I am a person that believes intent has a huge purpose in art, and that intent needs to be recognized before a fair judgment can be made. If you listen to this song, I mean really listen to it in sense of the lyrics, this visual was the perfect treatment for this song. Granted the make up in the video is reminiscent of black face, and that is not something to be disrespected, nor should the impact of black face be devalued.
However, I very highly doubt that the purpose and intent of the make up was in line with black face. If you listen to the lyrics, it is quite clear that the characters painted in all black represent the extinction of light, and the undertones of darkness within the song. Along with that, darkness is not only represented through the make up, it’s in the costumes of both Florence and the choir in the church.
Personally, I think this video is absolutely beautiful, and a perfect treatment for this song, but I do understand and respect the criticisms of the make up, and I am not trying to disregard them completely. I am solely trying to remind us about the intention behind the art, and to look at all sides before letting steam explode through our heads.