Nina Kraviz faces accusations of racism over appropriating cornrows and insensitive comments on Twitter

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  • The Russian producer's refusal to back down amidst criticism over photos of her hairstyle led to accusations (and counter-accusations) of racism.
  • Nina Kraviz faces accusations of racism over appropriating cornrows and insensitive comments on Twitter image
  • Nina Kraviz is facing backlash for comments—some now deleted—she made on social media. 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."
    The ???? 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.
    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.
    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.
    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."
    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."
    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.
    Resident Advisor has reached out to Nina Kraviz's team for comment. This post has been updated.