M.I.A.’s career has intrinsically been tied to politics to since the beginning, so it’s no surprise that she went on NPR to discuss the refugee crisis, which she also addresses in her new video for “Borders.” M.I.A. recounts her own migration experiences, her embrace of all things British in her upbringing, and talks about the intersection of art, commerce, and borders:
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,” she asks, “how can the West then turn people away?
[…] You don’t put the borders on Apple, you don’t put borders on YouTube, and you don’t put borders on MTV. So to make the borders even taller when actually what the creative world is doing, or the business world is doing, is actually the opposite, then you’re always going to have this problem.
Listen to the full piece below.