June 27, 2010 by popseeker
British born Sri Lankan Tamil singer M.I.A has never been one to make a quiet point.
Even Wikipedia struggles to define her, managing to call her a ‘songwriter, record producer, singer, rapper, fashion designer, visual artist, and political activist’ all in the first sentence.
‘Born Free’ is pretty much the epitome of M.I.A’s political activism. Musically, it’s a fast-running, action-packed kind of song, right from the drums at the start to the edgy guitar throughout, you’re left feeling on your toes; a really fantastic alternative-electronic tune that deserves to do well not just because of how it sounds but also because the lyrics actually mean something important. Politically, pretty much everything about the song is controversial and shocking. The single cover depicts still from a video that allegedly shows the extra-judicial killing of Tamil Tiger fighters by the Sri Lankan army in the civil war a few years ago. That’s nothing compared to the video, or ‘short film’ which accompanies it. You think Lady GaGa does shocking? You ain’t seen nothing til you’ve seen this.
Directed by French director Romain Gavras, it features scenes of an unnamed ‘security force’ rounding up a group of ginger-haired males, from child to adult, taking them to a desert-camp and then forcing them to run through a live minefield. During the course of this, you see a child graphically being shot in the head and other exploding as he runs on a mine. M.I.A defended the video as highlighting her anger at the stupidity and needlessness of genocide and ethnic cleansing – who would pursue a violent anti-Ginger campaign?
If you wish to view the video, you can do so here at M.I.A’s site – but be warned, it is extremely graphically violent. The song is out to download now.