France’s far-right racially attack Malian-French singer

France’s far-right racially attack Malian-French singer

A popular Malian-French singer has been racially attacked by France’s far-right groups, according to The Associated Press.

The racist attacks against singing sensation Aya Nakamura, on 11th March, were sparked by rumours of the artist performing a song by Edith Piaf at the Paris Olympic Games opening ceremony.

The Paris Olympics organising committee jumped to Nakamura’s defence, condemning the xenophobic attacks.

The committee stated, “We have been very shocked by the racist attacks against Aya Nakamura…we offer our total support to the most listened-to French artist in the world.”

Many other politicians, such as MP Antoine Leaument and Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera, took to X to show their support for the nationally renowned singer.

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The bigoted groups include Les Natifs, who insisted that Nakamura does not represent French culture, and the Reconquest party which is led by Eric Zemmour, a former presidential candidate.

The Telegraph reported that members of Le Natifs decorated the banks of the River Seine with xenophobic propaganda. The small extremist groups’ banner read “There’s no way Aya; this is Paris, not the Bamako market.”

However, this is not the first time Nakamura has faced criticism from the far-right as she has taken liberties with the French language in her hip-hop musical style.

Although the 28-year-old singer has obtained French citizenship since she migrated to France as a child, she continues to encounter racially charged criticism.

Despite the backlash, Nakamura remains to be one of France’s most adored singers.

Local French media reported that Nakamura met Emmanuel Macron last month – which sparked rumours of her potential performance at the Olympic Games opening ceremony – however, neither party has confirmed the rumour.

AFP reported that Carole Boinet, editor-in-chief of culture magazine Les Inrockuptibles declared that the attitudes expressed by the far-right have made it even more vital that the Malian-French singer performs at the Paris Olympics.

“France should be proud to have an artist like her known internationally…[the racist attacks] come from the backward side of France but it’s not them who will decide. I hope she will sing at the Olympics – it has become imperative,” Boinet expressed.

France’s internalised racism was a prominent issue in 2022 as the number of racist attacks increased, signifying that France had succumbed to the extreme right-wing after MPs racially attacked each other in parliament.

AP/EuroNews/AFP/Le Monde


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