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By Lucy McNabb
November 04, 2013
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By Lucy McNabb
November 04, 2013
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M.I.A just added another notch to her rebellious belt, calling in Julian Assange to open her gig at NYC's Terminal 5 via a live Skype feed. In what some might say is a canny publicity move (her fourth album, Matangi, has just been released today), the performer took her fans by surprise when Assange appeared on an enormous screen over the stage. After briefly lamenting he couldn't be at the show due to his ongoing confinement in London's Ecuadorian embassy, the WikiLeaks founder told the American audience "your government sucks", stressing the seriousness of the sinister relationship between government and media in the west.

Assange spoke for just over ten typically glitchy Skype minutes, declaring that "we are in a battle" and stressing to his listeners that truly caring means getting personally involved, which in turn could lead to an enormous collective power. He also expressed his admiration for the politically passionate English/Sri-Lankan artist, saying “I think she is the most courageous woman working in western music.”

Assange actually helped write one of the tracks on M.I.A's new album, 'aTENTion', for which he seemingly hacked the word 'tent'. They have previously collaborated in his promotion of M.I.A's free 2011 mix tape Vicki Leekx, and she later contributed music to Assange's TV program The World Tomorrow.

You can watch an audience member's recording of the unexpected address below. The sound isn't great, but if you fiddle around with the volume levels you can catch most of it.

Via New York Times and Spin.

Published on November 04, 2013 by Lucy McNabb

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