“Romans” by Mashrou Leila
Equality. Solidarity. Intersectionality. #charge
“The video self-consciously toys with the intersection of gender with race by celebrating and championing a coalition of Arab and Muslim women, styled to over-articulate their ethnic background, in a manner more typically employed by Western media to victimise them.
This seeks to disturb the dominant global narrative of hyper-secularised (white) feminism, which increasingly positions itself as incompatible with Islam and the Arab world, celebrating the various modalities of middle-eastern feminism.
The video purposefully attempts to revert the position of the (male) musicians as the heroes of the narrative, not only by subjecting them to the (female) gaze of the director, but also by representing them as individuals who (literally) take the backseat as the coalition moves forward.
So while the lyrics of the verses discuss betrayal, struggle, and conflict, the video revolves around the lyrical pivot in the chorus:
‘aleihum (charge!) treating oppression, not as a source of victimhood, but as the fertile ground from which resistance can be weaponised.”