International interpretation of dancehall Prt 1, Pumpum
Human reactions to situations or scenarios are almost always shaped and tempered by societal values or to be more accurate biases. No one, I do mean absolutely no one, is exempt from the effect the lenses given to us from birth has on our ability to fairly view the world. Case in point, recently a photographer friend of mine flew into Jamaica hell bent on capturing the ‘essence’ of our culture. After two street dances, a dancehall video shoot and one extremely ‘hot’ Carnival Day, one thing was made very clear he and I both saw the female form completely differently. What he saw as risqué art and slightly taboo was, in my opinion, just normal female attire and so on.
Now there is a good reason why I begun this piece the way I have. I was sent the links of two videos and was asked to comment on each. The videos: ‘Pum Pum’ by French born reggae act Nemo and ‘GRIND’ by Finnish director Mikka Lommi are both provocative in their own right, ‘Pum Pum’ has ironically nothing but bare female butts in it and the sometimes overuse reference of the song’s title while ‘GRIND’ has women scantily clad in what could be termed “dancehall” fashion imitating Jamaican dance moves set to glorious slow motion. What truly strikes me after watching both several times on a loop is not the quality, as they were both well put together, but the commentary following each has nothing but support for art and respective risks they must have taken to produced such work. Seeing that however fills me with sadness as it is my opinion if a Jamaican act dared to take those sorts of risks, they would labeled as immoral and irresponsible. The criticism would be the ‘talking point’ and not quality of work. I tell you what here are the two videos in question feel free to voice your own opinion.