Poetry After Guantanamo: M.I.A.

Hutnyk, John. 2012. Poetry After Guantanamo: M.I.A. Social Identities, 18(5), pp. 555-572. ISSN 1350-4630 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The recent work of the Sri-Lankan-British musician and sonic ‘curator’ known as M.I.A. (real name: Mathangi Arulpragasam) is considered as a commentary on atrocity and read alongside the well known essay ‘The Storyteller’ by Walter Benjamin and comments on Auschwitz by Theodor Adorno. The storytelling here is updated for a contemporary context where global war impacts us all, more or less visibly, more, or less, acknowledged. It is argued that the controversy over M.I.A.'s Romain Gavras video Born Free is exemplary of the predicament of art in the face of violence, crisis and terror – with this track, and video, M.I.A.'s work faced a storm of criticism which I want to critique in turn, in an attempt, at least, to learn to make or discern more analytic distinctions amongst concurrent determinations of art. A careful reading of Adorno can in the end teach us to see Born Free anew.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)



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Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2013 16:12

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2014 19:40

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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