​m.i.a. questions the refugee crisis in new video for 'borders'

The former i-D cover star, visual artist and musician takes the helm in a new video for her latest political single.

by Tom Ivin and i-D Staff
27 November 2015, 3:21pm

After teasing her Instagram followers with artwork and a release date for her new track "Borders," M.I.A. has now dropped a self-directed video for the single. Political as ever, the Sri Lankan-born artist sings in front of a series of visual metaphors including a World War Z-style mass exodus of bodies, scrambling to climb over a barbed-wire fence, which later forms the shape of a ship - a human Noah's Ark with Maya Arulpragasam as its captain. In one poignant shot, the bodies climbing the fence assemble to spell "LIFE."

In a de-saturated and deserted landscape, over distant sirens and muted trap drums, the video's message is sharpened to a fine point. The singer questions simply, "Borders, what's up with that? Politics, what's up with that?"

Moving away from past controversies, M.I.A. communicates a peaceful maturity in "Borders," with lyrics like "We're solid and we don't need to kick them." But she still taps into the themes of previous videos, addressing ideas of persecution on a global scale. 


Text Tom Ivin

refugee crisis