congolese-belgian artist baloji explores zombie culture in new short film
By Awa Gueye
March 21, 2019
Congolese-Belgian artist Baloji can do it all. He is a rapper, writer, self-taught director, art director, stylist and all-around visionary. His latest work, Zombie, released on Nowness is a bold statement on technology’s firm leash on society. Juxtaposing technology with tradition, Baloji manages to reflect the effects of a generation too connected. He even deepens the parallels in his message by using technology to tell the story of how it (technology) isolates and, if that isn’t enough, he does this through the collaborative medium of film.
The 14-minute short film features the songs “Spotlight” and “Glossine” off of his latest album, 137 Avenue Kaniama. The film examines the lack of community, solitary togetherness, and the idea of “the phone as an extension of the right hand,” as Baloji tells Dazed. These concepts are explored in his lyrics:
“You’re dead on your feet, you’re dead on your feet
Everything seems blurry, everything seems blurry
It the sleeping disease
Brothers are on standby
They’re wondering how to see further
Than the tip of their joint…”
Multi-talented Baloji misses no beats beginning the film with an older man singing in the barbershop about the dependency of the younger generation on their phones. Naturally, he refers to his cell phone screen to remember his lyrics. Baloji manages to dispel the myth that technology addiction is a young issue and reinforces its effect on society as a whole.
The music slaps, the visuals are gold, and the fashion is second to none. Be sure to watch this film.
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