This Editor’s Note would perhaps be best as a Hot Head, but I’m feeling indulgent. As a juror of the Polaris Music Prize; as a music lover; as an artist, I would like to congratulate Lido Pimienta on winning the 2017 Polaris Music Prize last month with La Papessa. The album is nothing short of revolutionary. It is a call to action to abolish patriarchy; to recognize the contributions of women and mothers; to honour the original peoples of this land, and to protect the environment that gives us life. And it’s really great to dance to.
Lido Pimienta’s win was met with mixed outcries of praise and anger. The dichotomy can be seen with a simple Internet search. Read the comment sections on social media and online articles, and you’ll see what I mean. Perhaps you don’t like Lido Pimienta’s music, and that’s okay. If nothing else, let the backlash to her Polaris win serve as a reminder that racism and sexism are issues in Canada.
I’m exhausted by current affairs conversations that conclude with a statement like, “Well, at least racism / white supremacy / sexism isn’t as bad in Canada.” That’s not appropriate! Prejudice and violence based on background, gender, orientation or belonging is not quantitative. It is not something that can be tracked based on incident reports. It either exists, or it doesn’t. In Canada, it exists, though people seem quieter about it. And while many of the aforementioned prejudice and violence has not impacted my life directly, I see hate affect my friends and the circles around me.
On a personal note, something that I have been working on that I encourage others to do, is to actively identify structures of oppression in everyday life. If you haven’t considered it before, watch documentaries or read about patriarchy, supremacy, colonialism and gender politics. Visit Spartacus Books, and join one of their book clubs. Seek out knowledge. But as strongly as you are willing to learn, be prepared to ‘unlearn.’ It is hard but necessary to recognize one’s own privilege, and reject complacency. There are a lot of big monsters in the world, but they cannot be faced until we, as individuals, are ready to face the monsters that we have allowed to exist within ourselves and our immediate communities.
With that said, as Naomi Klein stated in support of Lido Pimienta at the Polaris Gala, “any revolution needs good music.”
It is also worth mentioning that some local names made the Polaris Longer List this year, including Pale Red, So Loki, Tim The Mute, Louise Burns, Gentle Party, Daniel Terrance Robertson, Anciients, Jay Arner, The Courtneys, Japandroids, Loscil, Needles//Pins, Spruce Trap and Carly Rae Jepsen. Congratulations!
In this issue of Discorder Magazine, Ora Cogan and Holy Hum both work through serious topics on their new albums; James Knipe of Vancity Kweens is interviewed about local drag; Good Night Out shares the hard truth that most mainstream venues don’t care about harm reduction; and PRISM International goes in a new direction. For these features, reviews, and more, keep reading.