M.I.A. Highlights the Refugee Plight in Video for “Borders”

In the self-directed video for her new song “Borders,” M.I.A. focuses entirely on refugees, putting their lives up on screen as a visual representation of the song’s lyrics, which ask:

“Borders (what’s up with that?)
Politics (what’s up with that?)
Police shots (what’s up with that?)
Identities (what’s up with that?)
Your privilege (what’s up with that?)
Broke people (what’s up with that?)
Boat people (what’s up with that?)
The realness (what’s up with that?)
The new world (what’s up with that?)”

Coming at a crucial time as the topic of refugees has the country divided, M.I.A. wrote on Twitter that the video is dedicated to a very particular refugee: her uncle.

“One of the first Tamil migrants to come to the U.K. in the 60s who went to inspire so many people as a creative, daring man with so much swag that everything I do doesn’t even touch his sides. Thank you for helping my family come to England and taking us out of Sri Lanka and saving us. Everything I became was to say thank you to you!”

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