"It's a God-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling no
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen
But the film is a saddening bore
For she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man, look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man, wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?" -David Bowie
According to Wikipedia, Shahmaran in Persian means the ruler or queen of snakes. In Persian and Middle Eastern mythology, she's a wise figure that guides lost souls.
The video--of the same name--is visually stunning, like all Sevdaliza's videos, an achievement in creativity. This one is directed and themed in collaboration with Emmanuel Adjei, a Ghanaian filmmaker.
It starts with a group of chained black men--wrapped in gold chains and regular ropes-- dragging a spaceship (new age slave ship) across the desert that strains their backs. It's slavery. One guy, sporting a pair of green eyes (not sure if this is intentional, since green eyes are rare on black people, and is often a metaphor for greed, jealousy and envy, themes that go well with Adjei's explanation of the video concept), sees a mirage of the artist, wrapped in snakes, the personification of Shahmaran.
Green-eyed man throws off his chains and shackles and separates himself from the pack, trekking pass dead bodies until he finds Shahmaran's mirage temple. Inside, he finds a bejeweled Shahmaran lying down behind a pool of water. He bypasses a gun and a car both made of water-type substance (vanity masquerading as a lifesaving thing as water?). He throws his face into the water, eyes open, cleansed. The cut away we see a body, presumably his, lying on the desert floor, not a drop of water in sight. It's not clear whether he really found the temple, or is now dead.
"Carrying the burden of their ancestors, most black men today are still born into an environment that limits their freedom. Lost in a hazardous place from which they can’t seem to escape, their survival mechanisms have become their guide when making decisions. Whilst growing up, they have learned to fixate on the place where they know they need to be. Drawn to the dream of having power and success, they hold on to a false idea of autonomy. Yet, it is this house of freedom that has enslaved these men again. Chained to a fantasy, often of a materialistic nature, they remain upright throughout survival.”-- Director and concept collaborator Adjei.