The video for American singer Taylor Swift's new song "Wildest Dreams" has been viewed more than 10 million times in the two days since it debuted.
The video was shot in Africa and California.
In it, we see two beautiful white people falling in love while surrounded by vast expanses of beautiful African landscapes and beautiful animals — a lion, a giraffe, a zebra.
Taylor Swift is dressed as a colonial-era woman on African soil. With just a few exceptions, the cast in the video — the actors playing her boyfriend and a movie director and his staff — all appear to be white.
We are shocked to think that in 2015, Taylor Swift, her record label and her video production group would think it was OK to film a video that presents a glamorous version of the white colonial fantasy of Africa. Of course, this is not the first time that white people have romanticized colonialism: See Louis Vuitton's 2014 campaign, Ernest Hemingway's Snows of Kilimanjaro, the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia and of course Karen Blixen's memoir Out of Africa.
But it still stings.