Coldplay and Cultural Appropriation

Thinking in my Brown Skin

January 29th saw the release of Coldplay’s music video for their song Hymn for the Weekend. The backlash and praise was quick to come- how could it not be? Stunning visuals of “Indian life”, Coldplay members covered in Holi powder, and Beyonce decked out in Indian attire. On paper the video sounds like a dream come true. On screen, it screams of cultural appropriation, exoticism, and the limiting view of India that the world is constantly exposed to.

Cultural Appropriation is when one culture takes elements from another culture. The definition becomes further nuanced when you incorporate different aspects of history, and positions of power in the world. This has a lot to do with imperialism and colonization. When Western cultures take aspects of other cultures that they have colonized and belittled for centuries, it is considered cultural appropriation. It is not appropriation when a young Indian boy wears a…

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