Critics, however, have not been absent. MIA was accused by some of having “exploited” refugees, portraying them as “faceless masses” of dark-skinned people, and “invisibilising” female refugees. Leaving aside that it is probably not refugees but actors who perform in MIA’s video, it’s been remarkable how little attention has been brought to the fact that MIA isn’t just making political commentary on a current crisis. In fact, the discussion on MIA’s own facebook page is still raging […] MIA is not just any ordinary artist with political interests, but a former refugee herself. This isn’t news, per se, but a trajectory that can be followed throughout her many works. MIA has integrated her Tamil refugee identity throughout her long career, long before there were ambivalent concerns or sensationalist interest for refugees in the headlines. Yet her autobiography somehow always ends up being obscured when it urgently needed to be considered, as was seen in the analysis of her “Born Free” video, which was directed by Romain Gavras. MIA’s family fled Sri Lanka and underwent experiences of forced displacement and asylum before MIA became a world-renowned artist. Unlike many other commentators on the crisis, she has personally experienced and trespassed many of the borders that she sings about. When she talks about refugees, she doesn’t just talk about strangers, but about her own community, family and, most importantly, herself. On a telling note, MIA dedicated “Borders” to her uncle, who arrived in the UK in the 1960s and enabled her to survive. The issue of borders is, in other words, not a mere abstraction or theory to MIA, but a very personal tale that reflects her own journey from Jaffna to London. […] So when MIA sits on the vessel sailing through the Indian Ocean, she isn’t just “traveling with refugees” or “accompanying refugees” on their journey, as many reporters have described. No. She is a part of that very journey, albeit positioned in a different tense. Such autobiography with such difficult subject matter is something we only rarely encounter in pop culture. This is also reflected in some of the imagery used. Scenes in which dark-skinned refugees sail on crammed, colorful fishing boats through the sea or wade through steep water connect to images from the exodus of Tamil people from Sri Lanka towards India and Southeast Asia. Despite such visual and historic connections drawn by the artists, the music video being shot somewhere in South Asia and not Europe (as are many of the Tamil artists’ videos) and being released on Tamil Remembrance Day, Western media somehow still manage to reduce MIA’s political commentary to a Europe-oriented one, rather than a global one.
Maya “MIA” Arulpragasam tells Channel 4 News that she still wants to see former president Mahinda Rajapaksa face a war crimes trial, but the priority is peace and basic needs for Sri Lanka’s Tamil community under new president Maithripala Sirisena.
When you find this tree at#home by chance✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨ Sri Lankan soldiers have been seen systematically destroying Gloriosa lilies or ‘kaarthigai poo’ in the Vanni area, reports the Uthayan newspaper. The flower was named the national flower of Tamil Eelam and has come to symbolise the act of remembrance on Maaveerar Naal, as does a red poppy in the West