Chicago-based post-punk band Deeper are back today with a new music video for “Helena’s Flowers,” a track from their 2020 album Auto-Pain. The video depicts Native American folk stories and environmental destruction.
Deeper’s video release comes ahead of their livestream performance on Oct. 7 for Audiotree’s STAGED series.
Watch the video for “Helena’s Flowers” below. Keep scrolling to read the full explanation of the video from drummer and enrolled tribal member of the Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Shiraz Bhatti.
Indigenous communities have been warning us of the side effects of capitalist gluttony for generations. In a capitalist system we are inherently consumers of the land and have forgotten that our resources will one day run out – that we are depleting the earth and are changing our fragile ecosystem for the worst. Our consumerism has changed into a gluttonous greed, where we always want more product.
This video for Helena’s Flowers, created by Deeper and Riho Mineta, uses found footage to depict Native American stories warning of the detriments of greed on our world. The video references wendigos, the Lakota Black Snake Prophecy, and thunderbirds – each story embodying different ways Indigenous communities have urged us to change our ways:
Wendigos are flesh eating monsters who morphed from humans after being corrupted by their greed, but they can also take a human form as well. Wendigos of the past have morphed into loggers, oilers, and miners who feed their gluttony by eating away at the land. The Lakota Black Snake prophecy warns of a black snake moving across the land, poisoning water and destroying the land. This has come to fruition via multiple tar sand and oil pipeline ruptures throughout Turtle Island, which have poisoned our soil and water.
Thunderbirds, in Indigenous lore, are the caretakers of the earth and would appear to nourish and purify the lands but can also be dangerous to any living being that stands in its way. The video ends with thunderbirds returning to destroy with the intent to replenish and purify the land with its rain, winds, and lightning bolts. After these fires and storms and illnesses comes new life and a new day where we hopefully realize our mistakes of the past – or a day where the black snake will continue to poison the land.