Before making the majority of their back catalog available on Bandcamp to coincide with the site’s revenue waiver today (July 3), Animal Collective have acknowledged that there are “a few things we felt important to address and correct”. Specifically, the band have decided to change the cover art for their 2006 EP People as well as the title of their 2003 album Here Comes the Indian due to “racist stereotypes”. Read their full statement below.
Regarding People, whose cover shows a black nanny with two white children, they wrote: “There is no way to excuse using a ‘mammy’ on our artwork, and so we have decided to remove it. We understand now that using a racist stereotype at all causes more damage than an explanation can repair, and we apologize.” Proceeds from sales of that EP will go to Equal Justice Initiative.
Speaking of Here Comes the Indian, whose name has now been changed to Ark, they added: “With utmost respect to Indigenous people we feel that having the word Indian in our record title sends the wrong message by objectifying the American Indian people which is not what we were intending with the music.” Proceeds from album sales will also be donated to Seeding Sovereignty.
The band has also promised to donate proceeds from 2017’s Meeting of the Waters EP, which features recordings of the Tatuyo tribe in Brazil playing music, to Cultural Survival, an organisation dedicated to advancing indigenous peoples’ rights worldwide. “As we were guests in their world, we feel it is only right to continue to show our gratitude,” they said.
In addition to donating their Bandcamp proceeds to Cultural Survival, the Equal Justice Initiative, Seeding Sovereignty, Southerners on New Ground (SONG), and the Okra Project, the band will also split a $10,000 donation between those groups.
Animal Collective are also releasing a new EP on Bandcamp today, titled Bridge to Quiet. Check that out below as well.