The Russian producer's refusal to back down amidst criticism over photos of her hairstyle led to accusations (and counter-accusations) of racism.
The Russian producer posted selfies with her hair braided in cornrows on Twitter and Instagram early on Saturday morning, October 26th. Kraviz was quickly called out for cultural appropriation, as the style is deeply connected with black hair and history. She replied, "I can wear whatever I want! Thank you."
Nos vemos en Space Miami! Empiezo a las 7 /see you at Space Miami. I start at 7 🥰 pic.twitter.com/3WSp7PqMiv— nina kraviz (@NinaKraviz) October 26, 2019
The трип label head responded to the reaction in a now-deleted tweet. "I am not white European," she said, "Braids [are] part of many cultures." (Kraviz comes from Irkutsk, a city in Siberia north of Mongolia.) She then posted a screenshot from a Quora entry, which claims that "nobody 'owns' hair braiding" because it was also connected to Vikings, Romans, Eskimos and other cultures—but it does not account for the current reality that black people are often discriminated against because of their hair.
Black people litterally get denied jobs and or harassed by law enforcement for wearing their hair in braids and locks. Y'all's arguments defending Nina Kraviz are weak and lack an almost insurmountable understanding of context and nuance. Stop.— ｅｘｔｉｎｃｔ ｄａｅｍｏｎ (@extinctdaemon) October 28, 2019
The photos also spurred discussion about the title of Kraviz's 2011 breakout track, "Ghetto Kraviz." On Monday evening, October 28th, Kraviz quoted one of these critical tweets and added, "This is racism and should not be tolerated. Plus Polish Jews would be very surprised to discover that [the] word 'ghetto' exclusively belongs to African-American culture..." She has since deleted that tweet, too.
nina kraviz has been a problem but nobody wants to have that conversation yet... having a title like “ghetto kraviz” & then having cornrows. girl needs to get cancelled already. idc I’m just saying what y’all thinking. tired of these white girls in the techno scene, disrespectful— . (@delitefuls) October 26, 2019
Kraviz cited a story that describes the "ghettos" Nazis forced Jewish people into during World War II as a defense of "Ghetto Kraviz." It was then pointed out that it was unlikely her techno music was inspired by these cultures and not black America, where the genre originated.
Venice? Sorry are you kidding me? Did you read history at all? Second World War? Jews living in ghettos? All over Europe?— nina kraviz (@NinaKraviz) October 28, 2019
'the shtetls of WWII gave rise to an entire body of music, from the defiant "mir leybn ebig" ("we live forever") to the commemorative "zog nit keynmol" ("song of the warsaw ghetto"). but none are so celebrated as "ghetto kraviz", written in 2012 by russian techno dj nina kraviz.'— ilana the A24 artsy horror film uncredited extra (@ilanabryne) October 28, 2019
Nina Kraviz then called criticisms describing her as a white woman "racist." She exchanged tweets with Discwoman cofounder Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson in which Kraviz accused Hutchinson of sharing "terribly racist" and "bullying" tweets on her timeline. Hutchinson replied, "If you want to pretend that's bullying instead of critique, go ahead. I think you need to take your own advice, Nina. Take a moment and listen."
i can’t believe you’re actually going to the extent of co-opting the experience of racism as a way of deflecting a discussion about white privilege. as a black person who’d been a supporter of yours, this is sad. luckily for you, your yes fans will make you think this is ok— frankie (@frankiefatgold) October 28, 2019
You think that spreading hate, agression, separation, bullying in our scene and validating reverse racism is OK. I don’t think thats ok. These are not the values that our scene is build on.— nina kraviz (@NinaKraviz) October 28, 2019
bs. There are tons of other terribly racist tweets all over your bullying tweets Frankie. Please just take a moment and realize what you are signing into..— nina kraviz (@NinaKraviz) October 28, 2019
I don’t know that person and even if i did I have no shame in anyone from discwoman calling out white privilege, that’s what we stand for. If you want to pretend that’s bullying instead of critique, go ahead. I think you need to take your own advice Nina take a moment and listen— frankie (@frankiefatgold) October 28, 2019
In reply to Hutchinson's last tweet, Kraviz accused the Discwoman cofounder of being "an actual racist" in a since-deleted tweet. She continued: "I [come] from a remote Asian city, and all my life I had very little to do with what you are talking about. You have no right to speak to me this way." Hutchinson then said, "You're in over your head. Please read a book."
Dance With Pride's Axmed Maxamed called out the hypocrisy in Kraviz explaining the techno scene's values to Hutchinson. "I have done enough for our scene and have gone through a lot of bullshit and bullying to be where I am," Kraviz responded. "You['re] being extremely ignorant right now."
are you actually saying ‘Our scene’ to undermind a black woman....you are truly exposing your racism!— axmed maxamed (@_Axm3d) October 28, 2019
Listen! I have done enough for our scene and have gone through a lot of bullshit and bullying to be where I am. You being extremely ignorant right now. Peace out— nina kraviz (@NinaKraviz) October 28, 2019
Soon after, Kraviz deleted a few of her tweets, giving the reasoning, "It's going crazy and out of proportion," and said, "I am not a racist." Rrose replied to say that Kraviz still has a lot of listening and learning to do in the wake of this criticism.
deleted the whole thing as its going crazy and out of proportion. Lets stop this hatred. I am not a racist. And I hope you know and feel that. Peace out.— nina kraviz (@NinaKraviz) October 28, 2019
Nina, it may be true that this blew out of proportion fast, but your defensiveness is partly to blame. You have an opportunity to show your humility and learn from this experience, I hope you won’t pass it up.— Rrose (@rrose1921) October 28, 2019
Resident Advisor has reached out to Nina Kraviz's team for comment.
This post has been updated.