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Sofia Ashraf - Photographer Arjun Charanjiva (1)

Sofia Ashraf

Sofia Ashraf is a Tamil rapper and singer. Her songs address the negligence of corporations that fail to clean up industrial disasters such as her song ‘Don’t Work for Dow’ (2008), which criticises Dow’s failure to compensate victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy in India. In 2015, she released ‘Kodaikanal Won’t’, a music video addressing mercury pollution from a thermometer factory owned by Unilever. In June 2016, she released ‘Dow vs. Bhopal: a Toxic Rap Battle’. Born and brought up in an orthodox Muslim household in Tamil Nadu, Ashraf began rapping during a college festival where she donned a Hijab and rapped to her own lyrics in which she questioned the people’s attitude towards Muslims after September 11 attacks. The press referred to her as “The Burqa Rapper” after the incident.

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