Words: Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung
Because fuck your boys club.
Perth lacks diversity in its line-ups, it’s not a secret but it is something the majority of us want to change. As awareness builds about just how important representation within creative fields can be, and the positive change community action can bring, a neat little list ‘You Can’t Be What You Can’t See’ has been created.
Headed up by proactive Perth all-rounder, Xanthea O’Connor, ‘You Can’t Be What You Can’t See’ is a platform for promoters and bands to use when booking acts for shows. Designed with fair representation in mind, the list levels the playing field and wipes out excuses often put forward to explain shows that lack the foresight for booking bands that put women, LGBTQ and Indigenous Australian members.
Basically if you’ve ever been at a gig inundated by dude bro’s you’ll understand why we need this list.
So how does it work?
Artists input their information into a super easy form, explain what they identify as and what kind of shows they’d like to be playing. Something as simple as having this platform means every time a fellow artist or promoter say they don’t know where to look for more inclusive bands you send them to this list whilst also being given the opportunity to expand your own listening material.
Other lists similar in nature have begun popping up around the place, expanding their reach and this notion to a national and international level. It’s almost like a domino effect as an attempt at lasting change is strived towards. One list ‘FCK YOUR BOYS CLUB’ observes the incoming festival season, creating a space for bands with marginalised members to register themselves similar to how ‘You Can’t Be What You Can’t See’ works. Local writer and artist, Somayra Ismailjee noted in a recent article, in order for any of us to expect change, creative spaces need to be dismantled and recreated from the ground up starting with simple things. These simple things aren’t limited to but definitely include not booking bands with known abusers in them, remaining proactive in your scene to dismantle cliques that put minorities at a disadvantage and if you’re in the habit of booking shows, taking a look at lists like this to ensure there’s some equal representation on stage in our creative scenes.
Register your band here.