Two years after Ensen, Tunisian-born/New York-based experimental singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi released a new album in 2019. Everywhere We Looked Was Burning is out via Partisan Records. She shared a new video for the title-track. It was directed by Sami Battikh. She explains the song’s history and origins of the video:
“I wrote this song three years ago, as the world seemed to be heading towards a tipping point. I wanted to raise an alarm, to tell humanity that if we don’t stop provoking nature, she might come after us. If we don’t change the system that’s based on structural inequality and abuses of power, we’ll be walking towards the world’s collapse. In that sense the song was sadly prophetic.
I wanted the video to directly reflect this harsh reality, to show abuses of authority occurring everywhere against the most vulnerable. I closed every performance with this song during my fall tour, and as the tour went on, we projected more and more images from around the world that seemed to resonate so much with the themes of the song. All of the sudden everything was literally burning: huge swaths of California, Brazil, and Australia being burned to the ground, as well as heated protests in Lebanon, Chile, France. The earth was burning and so was the human heart with desire for change.
Now we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, spreading like wildfire across the globe. I wanted to bring the audience a collection of heartbreaking images, mixed with the anger and the determination of the people on the streets. Unfortunately, this may be the only way we can be made to listen. Everywhere we Looked IS Burning but we CAN do something about it, by joining our voices together to say ENOUGH.”
Battikh elaborates on the video: “Emel’s music triggers very strong and visceral emotions in me, something between life and death, and what happens between those two moments. On her last album she asks the essential question about the disasters created by mankind in connection with nature, industrial catastrophes, global warming, pollution etc. These are all very closely connected to social, human and political issues. The idea of this video was to show the undeniable link between the social struggle for a better and more equal society and the ecological struggle for more respect towards climate change and the environment”
Watch it below.