World Order: Imperialism

Japanese band World Order is, in their words, “a group creating a unique genre of performing arts through its original musical and physical expression”. (The group’s leader, Genki Sudo, has characterized World Order as “a new-world-order-conspiracy-theory parody group”.) Of their 2013 single Imperialism — from their album Have a Nice Day — they say:

The new single and video IMPERIALISM builds on the group’s mission to prompt reflection contemporary society, working styles, global culture, and images of modern Japan. Provocatively shot in Washington D.C. – against backdrops of American sights like the US Capitol building and Union Station. Spontaneous moments from filming are kept as is for the video – WORLD ORDER’s expressive vision.

Sync Music Japan quotes Sudo:

Usually, when I create my art, I keep in mind the following message: ‘If you change yourself, the world will change as well.’ For this video, I wanted to convey the message: ‘If America changes, the world will change as well.’ I hope everyone across the world enjoys the new song. We Are All One!

The US flag plays a prominent role in two scenes, one at the Marine Corps War Memorial’s sculptural representation of Joe Rosenthal’s famous photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, the other at the Columbus Fountain in front of Union Station.

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World Order dances at the Marine Corps War Memorial. The sculpture (and photograph) commemorates the World War II battle of Iwo Jima in which 6,821 Americans and over 17,000 Japanese died in 1945.
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The group dances in front of the Columbus Fountain, a 1912 sculpture by Lorado Taft and Daniel Burnham “to the memory of Christopher Columbus whose high faith and indomitable courage gave to mankind a new world”. The three flag poles represent the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. For the video, the middle flag has been inverted, an international symbol of distress.

The video begins and ends with scenes shot at the  George Washington Masonic National Memorial, which will be familiar to anyone who attended the 24th International Congress of Vexillology, held there in 2011.

 


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Author: SDM

Ethnography * Technology * Design

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