MIA spreads genocide message through video, album

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 May 2010, 17:15 GMT]
In a recent release of a video called "Born Free" containing "a hyper-violent mini-film" as a pre-release to her forthcoming album to be released on June 29, Oscar and Grammy award nominee, Eezham born music phenom, Maya Arulpragasam (MIA) expresses her sympathy for genocide victims with the powerful imagery of her video. YouTube yanked her video Tuesday, triggering an avalanche of publicity, including a detailed narrative of MIA's album that appeared in the weekend edition of the Washington Post, MTV, and Los Angeles Times among other media outlets.

Eezham born music phenom, Maya Arulpragasam (MIA)
Eezham born music phenom, Maya Arulpragasam (MIA)
"But I'm also invigorated by the video, the message, and the rather massive cajones M.I.A. displayed by making it in the first place. Of course, Ms. Arulpragasam, who is of Sri Lankan descent, has never been one to shy away from the political: Her father was a Tamil militant sympathizer in Sri Lanka, and she's spoken out about the long-running civil war in the country, both verbally and in her work; this video is the latest in a long run of political commentary on her part," MTV's video critic said.

Conjuring images of Sri Lanka's internment camps, the video shows riot gear-clad goons swarm the streets of Los Angeles, rounding up young men with red hair and busing them to a remote internment camp.

MIA's Myspace account, publicizing the video also contains the images from the Channel-4 broadcast execution video showing Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers summarily executing unarmed Tamils stripped naked and hands tied behind the back.

"Whether it's a comment on the absurdity of genocide (of which MIA saw plenty during her early childhood in Sri Lanka) or a challenge to the idea of "other" in Arizona's immigration law, it is startling even in the context of recent genre-bending music art-films," Huffington Post said of MIA's latest work.

"...the transnational hip-hop star's decision to team with Gavras and release a video that clearly connected to the history of political filmmaking is no rash impulse. With "Born Free," M.I.A. lets her growing cult of fans know that she has no intention of softening her message to court the mainstream.," said Los Angeles Times.


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External Links:
MTV: M.I.A. Releases Brutally Graphic Video For 'Born Free'
HP: M.I.A. Releases Graphic, Explicit 'Born Free' Video
WP: M.I.A.'s 'Born Free' video sparks debate

 

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