February 2, 2009  |  News, Politiks, Rock of Ages, Sound + Vision

Portrait of M.I.A by Greg Gossel from The Shooting Gallery's upcoming Grammy art show in LA...

This year she's been nominated for a Grammy and an Oscar, but musician & artist (her first solo show was in 2001 in London) M.I.A. has more pressing issues on her mind, namely the nearly totally unreported genocide currently being perpetrated in her homeland of SRI LANKA where she's officially been labeled a "terrorist" by the government (to her credit, she was denied entrance to the US by the Bush administration under the same classification). In an interview with favorite ST news site THE DAILY BEAST, the currently preggers and nearly ready-to-pop singer declared: “The situation is systematic genocide, ethnic cleansing ... “I want my fans to know I’m not tryin’ to be like Bono. Someone Irish talking about what’s going on in Africa. I actually come from there and the fact is that this is happening now. The war has been going on for a long time, but it stepped into the genocide bracket recently with the new President. I lived in Sri Lanka when the campaign for ethnic cleansing started and if I could stop it and see the end of it in my lifetime that would be amazing. I can’t justify my success otherwise. I can’t justify getting nominated for an Oscar or a Grammy, that to me wouldn’t mean anything if I don’t actually get to speak about this. It’s not like I’m trying to sell records, I’m trying to stop the death of 350,000 people this month.” Click HERE to read more...

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