‘Het lijkt hier wel de achttiende eeuw’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 54, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2589-4617
  • E-ISSN: 2667-2081



In Sophie Straat’s song ‘Vrijheid, Gelijkheid & Zusterschap’ (2022) and her corresponding music video, a colorful character falls asleep and, like a ‘Marie-Antoinette of the twenty-first century,’ dreams that she can do anything she wants. We witness a utopian dream world where all twenty-first-century problems have been solved: from climate change and factory farming to corruption and religious oppression. Her awakening in the true twenty-first century, however, is rough: ‘it looks more like the eighteenth century!’ The song contrasts present and past, dream and reality in an intriguing way and depicts the beheaded French queen Marie-Antoinette as an embodiment as much as a victim of eighteenth-century progressivism. Departing from the French Revolution, it seems, Straat aims at criticizing today’s progressivism. For this, she uses one of the historically most powerful tools to voice social critique and mobilize the masses: song. But will the people ever be able to achieve the utopia that this singer is dreaming of?


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