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Björk on “Gray Area” of Cancel Culture: “If You Cancel Everyone, That’s Not a Solution”

"Especially with younger males, they have to have an opportunity to evolve and grow and learn"

bjork cancel culture interview quote
Björk, photo by Vidar Logi
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    Björk has addressed the hot-button topic of cancel culture in a new interview with The Atlantic, during which she spoke about the nuances of giving people the opportunity to “evolve and grow and learn.”

    After The Atlantic staff writer Spencer Kornhaber brought up the seeming impossibility of compromise in the extreme sociopolitical climate of the United States, Björk suggested that we think about the future we want for the children of today. “I think it’s more about the future and where we’re going,” she said. “Take the heat off the moment, because it’s unsolvable.”

    She continued by advocating for the possibility of growth for younger people who make mistakes. “If you cancel everyone, that’s not a solution,” the Icelandic singer said. “Especially with younger males, they have to have an opportunity to evolve and grow and learn.”

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    Along these lines, Björk sings, “To insist on absolute justice at all times/ It blocks connection” on “Atopos,” the lead single from her upcoming album Fossora. According to The Atlantic, the song was also inspired by the fallout from the #MeToo movement, during which she accused an unnamed Danish director of sexual harassment.

    The artist has also had to consider “the gray area” of cancel culture during the rollout of Fossora. One of the primary collaborators on the album, Ican Harem of the Indonesian experimental dance duo Gabber Modus Operand, was accused of sexual assault in August, and the group went on hiatus.

    Though Björk edited Harem’s voice out of the title track and removed him from the “Atopos” video, it appears that she kept the contributions of the band’s beatmaker, Kasimyn, on both songs. Kasimyn is also featured in the “Atopos” video DJing an underground rave. “I want to have courage to be in the gray area,” she told The Atlantic.

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    Fossora also features the single “Ovule” and is slated for release on September 30th; pre-orders are ongoing. In early September, Björk launched a podcast series about her discography. She’s set to play Primavera Sound’s new Latin American festivals later this year.

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