Friday, April 30, 2010

LLove it or LLeave it? M.I.A.'s New Video: Born Free

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

This is the first chance I've had to sit down and blog about M.I.A.'s new video (see above). For those of you who have seen it, it's fairly heavy content as it is supposed to echo ethnic cleansing and/or racial profiling. It's kind of like when you were a little kid in school and played the game in class where all the kids with green eyes had to sit in one corner with no participation- this exercise was supposed to help kids understand the Holocaust.

I have a personal bias that for all intents and all purposes makes me scream and cheer for the video - as a way to get youth and popular culture talking about exclusionary ethnic, racial, sex, religious, etc practice (i.e., The Holocaust, Sudan, Rwanda, Bosnia, etc).

The timing of this video could not be more impeccable. With the recent passage of Arizona's SB 1070, the Illegal Immigration Bill that allows law enforcement to ask anyone suspicious (with undetermined reasoning) to show documentation of citizenship, it begets the question of, is this the next step for those who are not in line with the law?

Yet, I digress, what do you think of the new video? The song off of her forthcoming album seems to be just background noise to the imagery.

What do you think of the song and video? Is it as controversial as some are saying? Does it hearken to historical fact? Is she bringing this to the attention of popular culture for any reason? Is there a message?

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