The band Algiers is not one to mince words or practice subtle messaging techniques in their work. The powerful electro-punk gospel group has just revealed a new video for their overtly-political anthem titled “Cleveland,” which was originally released as part of their new album The Underside of Power.
The video, which was directed by Marisa Gesualdi, Sam Campbell, and frontman Franklin James Fisher, is chaotically glitchy and seemingly crafted to have a subliminal effect on the viewer given the quick succession of provocative visuals, including images of the KKK and scenes of political protest. More than just a creative accentuation and interpretation of the song, the video serves to document instances of police brutality, including direct references to some of those who have lost their lives under the authority of the law. The video was filmed in Staten Island and the Pink Houses project in East New York, where Eric Garner and Akai Gurley were fatally brutalized at the discretion of law enforcement.
Textual excerpts from the The Black Panther’s Ten Point Program are also integrated into the video, as several of the party’s foundational principles intermittently appear and alternate screen time with a passionate and earnest Fisher, who becomes framed by the pleas for justice and equality.
While the video does emphatically possess political merit independent from the song itself, it does serve to epitomize the intrinsic unrest in Fisher’s lyrics, while also contextualizing the band’s activist roots and ideological influences. The intermixing of substance and style in both the song and the video gives the composite work a truly compelling and formidable presence.
For more, check out Algiers’ Zumic artist page.