Rated: Extremely Realistic!
Not made for children
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Mathangi Arulpragasam was born in Hounslow, London, England to Kala and Arul Pragasam. Her family is of Sri Lankan Tamil descent. When she was six months of age, her family moved back to their native Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Motivated by his wish to support the Tamil militancy on the island, her father became a political activist, adopting the name Arular, and was a founding member of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS), a political Tamil group that worked to establish an independent Tamil Eelam. Her stage name, M.I.A., stands for Missing In Acton.
Because of the Sri Lankan Civil War, the first eight years of her life were marked by displacement. Contact with her father was strictly limited, because he was in hiding from the Sri Lanka Army. As the civil war escalated, it became unsafe for the family to stay in Sri Lanka, so they relocated to Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, moving into a derelict house, with sporadic visits from her father. During a period when her family temporarily resettled in Jaffna, the war escalated further and her school was destroyed in a government raid. In 1986 she, her older sister Kali, younger brother Sugu, and mother moved back to London where they were housed as refugees. She learned English in the late 1980s, on a council estate in Mitcham, South London.
Arulpragasam graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, with a degree in fine art, film, and video. She currently lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York, in the United States and is engaged to Benjamin Zachary Bronfman (aka Benjamin Brewer), environmentalist, ex-singer and guitarist for the band The Exit, son of Edgar Bronfman, Jr. the CEO of Warner Music Group, and a member of the Bronfman liquor dynasty. M.I.A. gave birth to a boy on 11 February 2009, naming him Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman, just days after performing at the Grammy Awards.