There are many famous artists that use their popularity as a platform to promote social change and inspire people to think about issues affecting contemporary society. “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park is a powerful music video that raises many important issues that were caused by people and their activities. In the video, the members of the band are seen playing the song in the desert, and their performance is interrupted by footage depicting poverty, war, environmental damage, inequality, and many other problems that threaten our life on earth. By viewing the video through the prism of sociological imagination, it is possible to connect it to a broader context and explain its intended meaning and implications.
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One of the most prominent issues shown in the video is environmental damage that has been caused by people over the past century. The video shows footage of oil pollution, plastic in the ocean, melting of the glaciers, and poaching (“What I’ve Done”). These problems are familiar to most people in modern society. There are numerous reports by scientists and journalists confirming the negative effect of human activity on the life on Earth. By contrasting footage of healthy animals in the wild with images of birds covered in oil, poachers collecting elephants’ ivory tusks from dead animals, and plastic filling up ocean waters, the video creates a powerful impression. It makes people think about the damage they cause to nature and shows that action is needed to stop the situation from getting worse.
Another significant issue shown in the video is inequality, particularly with regard to socioeconomic status and health. The music video depicts images of people living in extreme poverty and contrasts them with footage of people in a big city (“What I’ve Done”). This shows the extent of inequality that exists in the world and prompts viewers to feel sorry for those who are less fortunate. Similarly, videos of severely malnourished people are opposed by images of those who overeat and are obese, as well as those with eating disorders (“What I’ve Done”). This approach to depicting health shows that people in both developed and developing nations suffer from poor health, despite significant variations in income and resources available to them. It also highlights the uneven distribution of resources across the world: while people in Europe and America throw away food or eat enormous amounts of it, people in some African countries suffer from hunger and malnutrition. By bringing to light inequality and placing it among other critical issues in the video, Linkin Park shows its effects on the global community and consequences for people on both sides of the socioeconomic spectrum.
Violence is also a prominent topic of the video, and Linkin Park explores many different instances of violence in their work. The music video shows footage of political oppression, racial segregation, fascism, terrorism, and war. For example, there is footage of protesters being beaten by the police, as well as images of a child holding a gun and a nuclear bomb exploding (“What I’ve Done”). These images are familiar to most viewers because most people saw similar footage on the news or on the Internet. However, by collecting clips showing all types of violence that are evident in today’s society, Linkin Park portrays the full extent of the issue and its global impact on people and their communities.
The link between the video and the title of the song is also critical to understanding its meaning. While depicting problems that threaten people, animals, and nature, Linkin Park also suggests that the responsibility for these issues lies with humans and their decisions. Indeed, the problems shown in the video are tied to human activity, and most of them can be addressed by collective action. For instance, climate change is widely blamed on large corporations and the emissions from various types of vehicles. War and violence, similarly, are caused by people and the inability to resolve political differences through diplomacy. By showing this to viewers, Linkin Park also suggests that people should come together to solve problems rather than contribute to them by remaining ignorant.
Based on the analysis, the video has three important implications for viewers. First of all, it raises awareness of important issues that affect the global community and nature. Secondly, the video highlights the part played by humans in the development of these issues. Lastly, Linkin Park urges people to act together to find a solution and make life on Earth better for everyone. The message of the video is truly inspiring and it shows how popular culture can be used to influence people.
All in all, the music video “What I’ve Done” is significant because it portrays the most prominent issues faced by global society and urges people to address them collectively. The video explores the role of humans in facilitating climate change, violence, and inequality, thus bringing these problems to light. Analyzing the video from the viewpoint of sociological imagination helps to understand the band’s intentions and shows how the imagery used in the video helps to fulfill its purpose.
“What I’ve Done (Official Video) – Linkin Park.” Youtube, uploaded by Linkin Park. 2007, Web.