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Disc2021's avatar

New M.I.A. controversial video (censorship)?

Asked by Disc2021 (4488points) April 29th, 2010

Besides being awesome, British songwriter M.I.A. has recently released a new music video for her recent song “Born free” which is supposed to depict world genocide (specifically in Sri Lanka, where she’s originally from). The video features quite excessive violence (red heads “gingers” pretty much being rounded up and shot, children being shot) and nudity. It was quickly pulled from youtube and has evidently been generating a lot of “heat”.

The question is obvious – Is censorship really necessary, especially in this case when there is an intelligent, comprehensive message to be received? If it is, where is the line to be drawn? To parents – assuming your children are old enough to understand the content, are you comfortable with them viewing it considering what it features?

Artists are known for being controversial and outspoken – film, theater, art, and music has ALWAYS been (and evidently will always be) like this. It’s kind of silly that the public freaks every time this happens. I think the video serves it’s purpose – which is to provoke thought, challenge perspective and get people thinking and I wouldn’t change a thing had I the authority.

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11 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

If it was mindless violence/nudity then i can see it getting pulled. But with something like genocide, something that is normaly pushed out of public view (it drives me crazy how little the average person knows of genocide) than i think this video shouldn’t have been banned. It serves an educational purpose. It is supposed to get you infuriated and thinking “Oh my god…. i cant believe this shit is actually happening in the world…. what can i do to stop it?”

Then again, by having the video banned it will cause people to go search it out, out of curiosity to see what it was all about and why it was banned. Thats what im about to do now :P

Jude's avatar

Here it is here.

Warning. It’s pretty graphic and disturbing. I wouldn’t be surprised that it gets pulled here, as well.

BishiAfi's avatar

it’s disturbing and unsettling. Things like that could give impressionable people the wrong idea and it can influence people to do disturbing things so i agree with it being banned. i honestly am not going to watch it. I am not a fan of watching people murder children. If it’s actually doing something for her country it should be shown to a group of people who could help them but not the entire planet.

Disc2021's avatar

@BishiAfi While I respect your opinion, I think it’s supposed to be disturbing and upsetting, that’s the point. I dont see how this video in particular could influence people to do disturbing things anymore than our entire collection of films, music and television shows over the last decade can just as easily. To the last assertion – this is how this artist has chosen to represent herself and express her opinion. Along with that, she’s educating viewers (admittedly, I’m one of them) that normally wouldn’t know anything about the situation going on there. To her defense, we are the group of people she’s chosen to show and (likely in her hopes) the awareness might influence change or outside action.

@uberbatman Agreed entirely.

CMaz's avatar

I did not find it disturbing and/or unsettling.

I found it to be a weak production. Doing nothing more but giving a thrill to a bunch of neophytes.
If there was a political message to it, it got past me. Unless that message was to make people aware of the violence that exists in the world today.

Otherwise nothing more then 9.5 min. of fame.

The_Idler's avatar

The twist is pretty good.

It’s not exactly intellectual, but then all things are relative; look at the rest of pop music, and that says something about the general population, which is the target audience.

joni1977's avatar

Well, obviously, it’s not censored until it pisses off the right people. In my case, the wrong people, right mods? Apparently, I was a victim of censorship with Fluther just because I asked a ‘simple’ question about China. As for the video, it’s no more graphic than the norm. I don’t think it should have been censored.

DominicX's avatar

I think I like it more because it’s controversial. That in itself brings attention to it. That was most likely the goal in the first place.

YARNLADY's avatar

@DominicX I have seen reports of people calling and reporting their own productions to get them censored for that very reason

jeanmay's avatar

Well it got stuck around 7 minutes in, so I don’t know what happened at the end. But frankly the bit I did see was rather boring. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, and I agree with @ChazMaz about the production being weak. It is clever in that all the brouhaha surrounded it will raise awareness of the situation in Sri Lanka, regardless if anyone gets to see the actual video or not.

Palindrome's avatar

M.I.A in general will use controversial lyrics in her songs and also incorporates political messages in them. This actually reminds me of Erykah Badu’s Window Seat video that caused a lot of controversy because she was walking slow-mo and stripping her clothes off in downtown dallas in front of everyone (including children who were walking with their families). Once she turns on elm street where JFK was shot she is then completely naked and is shot in the area JFK was. Heres the video. But I totally agree with you @Disc2021. I believe censorship is not necessary. What’s necessary is parenting and guidance. Not brainwashing or the restricting of controversial and political music videos.

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