Taylor Swift accused of depicting an ‘African colonial fantasy’ in new video

'Wildest Dreams' is criticised for 'embodying the political exploitation of a region'

Taylor Swift has been criticised after unveiling her video to latest single ‘Wildest Dreams’, which was filmed by Joseph Khan in an undisclosed African location and features an entirely white cast.

The video, released over the weekend (August 30), is heavy on romantically-tinged scenes, featuring a hefty backdrop of wild animals and Swift starring in a passionate romance.

A number of media outlets have been quick to jump on perceived racial undertones of the video, highlighting supposed parallels with exploitation of colonial-era Africa in particular.


Writing for the Huffington Post, entertainment reporter Lauren Duca describes the video as being reminiscent of Pocahontas, saying:

“Instead of the cultural appropriation that has become almost status quo in today’s pop music, Swift has opted for the bolder option of actually just embodying the political exploitation of a region and its people. It’s brave, really. Almost as brave as moving sensuously in the vicinity of a real-life lion.”

The Daily Dot writer Nico Lang provided an in-depth look on the negative cultural portrayals of the video.

“Even the most casual observer would have noticed that – for a clip that’s set in Africa – it’s about as white as a Sunday morning farmer’s market,” Lang argues, before concluding: “Just because Taylor Swift’s videos are out of Africa doesn’t mean her politics have to be, too.”

Watch the ‘Wildest Dreams’ video below.


‘Wildest Dreams’ is the fifth single from Swift’s fifth studio album ‘1989’, which has already sold well in excess of eight million copies worldwide.

Swift is offering the profits to the charity African Parks Foundation of America.