ACCLAIMED SONGWRITER AND PERFORMER LAUNCHES NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR “I HEAR THEM CALLING” TO PROTEST UNFAIR BATHROOM LAWS
In protest of the recent spate of transphobic bathroom laws restricting bathroom access to transgendered people in the United States, Canadian filmmaker Chelsea McMullan and musician Rae Spoon have collaborated on a protest music video. The music video features the single “I Hear Them Calling”, which is part of Spoon’s new album Armour out now via Coax Records.
“Equal rights are shown in the way transgender people can access public facilities. The recent trend of bathroom laws criminalizes spaces that are already difficult for transgender folks to navigate. I hope this video will help show the youth who will be affected by these laws how absurd they are,” said Spoon.
To create the video, twenty-three LGBTQ and ally youth gathered for a one-day workshop to make their own “monster/beast” costumes, with the idea of reclaiming spaces where transgender people are often treated as less than human. The youth were inspired to make monster costumes in the spirit of the Brothers Grim, Maurice Sendak, and Marcel Dzama.
While public washrooms can be a fraught and difficult space for trans-folks, the video asks Spoon and the youth to reclaim it through a joyful display of dancing and music. In these scenes, the bathroom is decorated with materials commonly found in the space. The streamers are made from toilet paper and the glowing lights were placed inside the soap dispensers, creating a beautiful and surreal space from what already exist inside of it.
This isn't the first collaboration between Spoon and McMullan. The two partnered on the 2013 Sundance Festival favorite and NFB produced documentary-musical feature, My Prairie Home. “This was our first collaboration since My Prairie Home and both Rae and I wanted to address the alarming bathroom laws being enacted in the United States,” said McMullan. “We wanted the video to be part call- to-action, part protest and part dance party.”
The bathroom laws the music video protests includes a bathroom bill that North Carolina passed into law in March 2016. Many other states have proposed similar bills that are at different stages of legislation.
About Rae Spoon:
Rae Spoon is an award-winning Canadian musician, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and author. They have released eight solo albums spanning folk, indie rock and electronic genres over the past twelve years and have toured across Canada and internationally. Rae was the subject and composer of the score for the National Film Board–produced musical-documentary My Prairie Home, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2014. They have been nominated for two Polaris Prizes, a Lambda Literary Award, a Western Canadian Music Award, a CBC Radio 3 Bucky Award and a MOTHA Transgender Musician of the Year Award.
About Chelsea McMullan:
Chelsea McMullan’s films and projects have premiered at Sundance, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Photography Festival. Her award-winning shorts have been featured on Nowness, Dazed Digital, Vice and in Vogue Italia magazine. Chelsea is a member of the artist co-operative What Matters Most and was an artist in residence at Fabrica, where she made the Genie-nominated short film Derailments, a tribute to the legacy of Federico Fellini.
My Prairie Home, her musical documentary portrait of gender-neutral singer/songwriter Rae Spoon, won the 2013 Vancouver Film Critics’ Prize for Best Canadian Documentary and garnered a Canadian Screen Award nomination.Michael Shannon Michael Shannon John, her second feature film, was released in 2015.