Back in November, M.I.A. shared her new politically (and socially) driven video for new song “Borders” that saw hundreds of refugees climbing wired fences, sailing in crowded vessels and ultimately trying to survive. Yesterday, M.I.A. spoke NPR about the visual in contrast to her own life as a migrant living in civil war-torn Sri Lanka as a younging. You can listen to her full discussion with Dave Greene below via NPR audio player.
I think it’s cause and effect. As a musician, I feel like we are part of promoting ideas to people. You know, ultimately we fight to get what we do in the West into the homes and the screens of every single person on the planet. We want to make money off it, and you want to sell 50 million Taylor Swift records to people in Africa. Obviously, some of the kids are gonna say, ‘Okay, yeah, I want the dream,’ and you’ve got migrants who believed in the aggressiveness of our sale of democracy. We can’t really blame people when they are ready to embrace it.
If the West is so deliberate in promoting its brands and is using art and culture to inspire people’s dreams, how can the West then turn people away?