As part of MTV’s EXIT campaign to end exploitation and trafficking Radiohead has released a powerful new video.
Not that lead singers are any more qualified to talk about human rights and globalization than, say, drummers or butchers, but here’s what Radiohead’s lead singer Thom Yorke has to say on the subjects:
“(It’s) a video of two parallel stories running, one of a little boy in the West and one of a little boy in a sweatshop in the East, and the boy [in the West] ends up buying the shoes from the sweatshop. It’s actually quite powerful. It’s the sort of images I have in my head anyway. Sometimes when you’re walking down High Street and you’re looking at the incredibly cheap [sneakers], you sort of think, ‘Hmmm, well how did they manage to make that so cheaply?’ It sort of reminds me of one of my preoccupations, so I’m touched that the music goes with that. I think it’s great.”
“…if you are in the West, it’s a luxury to be able to talk about the importance of human rights for everybody, but yet in the East, or the poorer countries where slave labor is going on, if you talk to certain companies, it seems that it’s much more important that they’re on some sort of economic ladder, and somehow the rights of the workers are secondary to economic growth. And that I find a very peculiar logic, and I think that’s as much about the power of the companies and the profits they’re making as it is of any moral stance. So it would be useful when the West talks about human rights, they actually consider countries where, for a lot of workers, it’s not really on the agenda yet.”
Here’s the video: