Caribbean Music Duo Shakes Industry With a Powerful Message: Human Form
“The world was burning down and all they wanted to do was be entertained and fed. But here is a truth the powerful cannot stomach; hunger is a force of nature and her wrath is indiscriminate.”
The opening lines of Trinidadian music duo Freetown Collective’s album ‘Born In Darkness’ and its first song ‘Human Form’ . Director Maya Cozier and cinematographer Oliver Milne translated these words into the Human Form music video and created something that showcases our local cinematographic talent coupled with a familiar narrative.
Unfolding in front of us is a socio-political story wrapped in a music video laden with imagery and symbolism. The opening scene of the video is a wealthy privileged family, detached from the reality of the social climate in their country. Their glasses are full, tables decorated in exquisite ornaments and fine cutlery bearing embellishments of great detail. The hearty spirits of this family come to a halt with the appearance of two strange men on their patio; a beautiful warning. The frame then switches to a distressed and neglected community under a state of great turmoil. The subsequent scenes show a group of young adults from this area venturing into the rich man’s grounds. We are then compelled to see this ostracized group through humanized lens and see that they reflect and resemble people like ourselves; they possess an intense hunger for a better life. For a brief moment they live like the 1% on the other side of the pond, reveling in their clothes and property. The penultimate scene of the music video gives us stark contrast between the lives of these two groups with striking imagery. The camera pans to the faces of the neglected, capturing their deep emotions of despair, pain and hunger while placing in proximity, the family’s excessive foods and lush lifestyle. Zooming into the table platter with arms reaching out, perhaps representing this incoming community, the family’s patriarch is aware of what’s about to take place. The two men, the artists, open the gate to the compound in the final scene as it is their artistic duty to society.
Why is this music video important? A powerful story with a relevant message is being told. The video highlights the large unequal distribution of wealth and fleshes out its detrimental consequences. We are shown that the stability of a nation depends on every class. These extreme differences in quality of life accounts for a dysfunctional society. While the rich may live detached comfortable lives in a social bubble, their comfort becomes compromised due to their apathy towards their nation. There’s a threshold of suffering in a society where resilience is no longer the recourse and action is demanded.
A society must assume that it is stable, but the artist must know, and he must let us know, that there is nothing stable under heaven. — James Baldwin