Most people would assume M.I.A. stands for Missing in Action, but it has a deeper, darker meaning that that. In her 2012 book M.I.A. the star wrote:
"M.I.A. came to be because of my missing cousin. I wanted to make a film about where he was since he was M.I.A. (Missing in Action) in Sri Lanka. We were the same age, went to the same schools growing up. I was also living in Acton at the time. So I was living in Acton looking for my cousin missing in action."