This morning, I was writing a message to my subscribers on Bandcamp when I noticed a tag on my music that wasn't there before: "black-bandcamp".
Let me be clear: my music is rooted in and in many ways is an expression of my experience of being black, British, and male. However,
- I set the intent of my music
- I have agency in describing my music; I can choose to describe it in that way
- I know the purpose of describing it in the ways that I choose, based on my intent
The tagging of "black-bandcamp" on black musicians' music can be positioned in all sorts of ways. Some will welcome it. But from my perspective
- only Bandcamp knows the intention of the tagging
- the musicians are unable to choose whether they want the tag or not
- The mass tagging of black musicians can serve purposes that do not match the intention
In short, this is public branding of people with no consideration of how those people feel; the people (and their cultural artefacts) are being treated as property of Bandcamp, all agency is stripped away.
This is violence, and I reject this violence entirely.