London-born artist MIA has dropped a new video and, as with most of her work, it has quickly divided opinion. The video for ‘Borders’ — the second track we’ve heard from her forthcoming album, Matahdatah — features refugees scaling a border crossing, riding cramped migrant boats and wading through the ocean. You’ve got to hand it to MIA, the video is bold. Would any other artist in 2015 go there? Music videos have, for years, picked a worthy cause and aimed to raise awareness for it. But this isn’t a Live Aid Christmas single shot in a studio, this isn’t Demi Lovato performing on a gay pride float, it’s a full-scale cinematic reimagining of what it means to make a journey as a refugee. And that’s where the problem comes in: it is highly stylised, looking almost like a fashion shoot at times. Directed by MIA herself, stylistically, it resembles Romain Gavras' award-winning video for her 2013 single "Bad Girls" — ambitious and colourful, with plenty of aerial shots. One thing's for sure: It's choreographed, cast and carefully composed. This only serves to heighten the impact of the video, in our opinion. MIA could have dubbed her song over archive news footage, but it wouldn't be nearly so affecting. It speaks to us in a language that we easily understand, that of the big budget, high production value music video, about a situation many people are finding difficult to grasp. If MIA's video draws attention towards a global crisis at all, then it seems to be doing the job she intended.
Watch the video below.