An Open Letter to the Author of Slavic Girls
Slavic Girls, 2013’s most watched clip in Poland and possible Eurovision candidate, features an assortment of voluptuous Slavic beauties in pseudo-traditional garb twerking to a rap-and-accordion mash up. DJ and music critic Filip Lech has addressed an open letter to Donatan, the hip hop artist behind this controversial hit.
I congratulate you on the success enjoyed by your hit single My Słowianie (now available in English as Slavic Girls). More than 28 million views, way to go! As a big fan of Slavic culture, I am thrilled that it caught the attention of millions, but I am also slightly disquieted. Keeping in mind how often the Slavic ethos was perverted and led to discrimination and inequity, I would like to express a few remarks with respect to your work.
Why do the lyrics from your album repeatedly evoke blood and genes? It triggers some very unpleasant associations, but most of all it hardly seems justifiable. In all likeliness, Slavs never formed a nation in the genetic sense of the word, and especially not in the early days of their existence. They emerged from masses of dwellers of old provinces of the Roman empire: Semites, Germanic tribes, and Scandinavians soldiers, who were a basic state-creating factor for the majority of Slavic nations, especially in the cases of Russia and Poland.
Besides, it's a horrible anachronism. Borders are open and moving across continents is not a problem. Why not complete the Slavic landscape and open ourselves to other cultures, especially those fighting for survival? In your interviews, you state that you don't want a "black broad" appearing in your clip. Instead, you "gotta have a Polish woman", with "Slavic looks, a blonde". That sounds ever so slightly racist.
Speaking of Polish women, well, Donatan, your videos are full of sexism. The constant juxtaposition of a woman with dairy products (women whipping cream, or milk dripping down a model's face) alludes to pornography, and the notorious exposure of half-naked breasts actually came to us from American culture from which you claim you want to escape. In Slavic culture, womanhood is associated with a multitude of elements: mystery, knowledge men do not possess, as well as protective spirits because down the line, Slavic men perished in battle more often than not. But, for God's – or perhaps Svetovid’s – sake, feminity was never associated with dairy!
PS. There is a hypothesis that the land now inhabited by Poles, more precisely Mazovia, was once a state ruled by women, our equivalent of the Amazons. Numerous excavation sites have discovered magnificent and treasure-laden tombs of women and children, with no trace of men. I wonder how these women would react to your music videos.
Slavophile and music critic of culture.pl
Excert from the Slavs Are Us (?) text.
Author: Filip Lech, 20.12.2013, edited by LB, 14.02.2014