Thursday, 30 August 2012

Madonna issues MDNA tour 'manifesto'

'The enemy is within' … Madonna takes aim at her critics. Photograph: Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Madonna has issued a "manifesto", attempting to justify the violent imagery in her MDNA tour. According to her 440-word statement, these concerts are meant as "journeys from darkness to light, from anger to love [and] from chaos to order", with the singer playing "both … good guys and bad guys".

"It's very important to me as an artist that my show not be taken out of context," the singer wrote in a letter to Billboard. "It must be watched with an open heart from beginning to end." The singer has been criticised about the gun play in her stage show. In her review for the Observer, Kitty Empire wondered whether the "trigger-happy" 50-year-old is "glorifying firearms". "The violence is pretty graphic," she wrote, "given the smattering of kids in attendance, and those onstage."

"It's true there is a lot of violence in the beginning of the show and sometimes [there is] the use of fake guns," Madonna wrote. "But they are used as metaphors. I do not condone violence or the use of guns. Rather they are symbols of wanting to appear strong and wanting to find a way to stop feelings that I find hurtful or damaging.

"In my case its wanting to stop the lies and hypocrisy of the church, the intolerance of many narrow-minded cultures and societies I have experienced throughout my life, and in some cases the pain I have felt from having my heart broken.

"The enemy is within," Madonna wrote, echoing her comments about Marine Le Pen. "In spite of all the chaos and darkness and intolerance we seem to be encountering more and more in the world, we cannot allow our anger or bitterness to swallow us up … There is an innate and pure love inside us all and we have to find a way to tap into it … We can't do it by being victims or placing the blame or pointing the finger at others."

The singer's idealism, however, feels a little out of place in a tour that is named, at least in part, after an illegal drug. At recent concerts, Madonna has spoken out in support of Pussy Riot and gay rights, but she has also courted controversy by flashing her breasts and asking for drugs.

Madonna will perform in Montreal on Thursday night.

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