Music SA has today unveiled an official music video produced by the South Australian participants and mentors of the global UNESCO Creative Cities gender-equality project Equaliser (EQ). Accompanying the music video comes a short documentary, directed by Morgan Sette that follows the journey and creative process of the project.

Watch Music Video Here 
Watch Short Documentary Here

With the support of the Adelaide UNESCO City of Music office, South Australia’s Music Development Office, the City of Adelaide council and Headspace Adelaide, Adelaide’s project (led by Music SA) connected 13 female and non-binary people aged between 18-25 to write and record a song, and star in their own music video.

Kim Roberts, General Manager of Music SA states: “We were delighted to be a part of this global UNESCO project. Our team is incredibly proud of the participants and we look forward to hearing more great music from them all in the future!

The music video was unveiled at a private celebration at innovative live music venue The Lab last night, which was live-streamed to other UNESCO Creative Cities worldwide. Members of the South Australian music community were in attendance.

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said: “The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to building on Adelaide’s prestigious status as a UNESCO City of Music and is proud to support this project which raises awareness for gender equality in the music industry and showcases the outstanding talent we have here in South Australia”.

The South Australian instalment of the EQ project took place over six weeks between Jan-Mar 2021 under the guidance and mentorship of local female musicians and industry practitioners including songwriting mentors Nancy Bates, ELSY and Elli Belle, photographer and filmmaker Morgan Sette, recording engineer Bethan Maddison and dance choreographer Lauren Pisaniello from Precision Dance. Michael Ross of award-winning duo Electric Fields composed the music in which the participants wrote the lyrics and melody over. Together, the 13 female and non-binary participants shared their individual lived experiences, wrote and recorded a song, and directed and starred in a music video — which premiered via YouTube this morning.

The gender equality project ‘EQ’ is a wonderful example of how music can bring people together, to feel empowered and help to create change. This global initiative provides a powerful platform for female and non-binary people to tell stories through their own lens and using their own voice“, states Rebecca Pearce, the Director of Adelaide UNESCO City of Music.

Other Creative Cities in the global UNESCO network that have participated in the project include Auckland (New Zealand), Hanover (Germany), and Norkkoping (Sweden). The pilot of the project was held in Norrkoping in 2017. Adelaide is the second Creative City in the UNESCO network to undertake the EQ project.

Adelaide is the only UNESCO City of Music in Australia and is one of 47 UNESCO Music Cities globally.

About Adelaide, UNESCO City of Music
Adelaide was designated as the first and only City of Music in Australia in music culture, its international reach, its history and its aspirations. Adelaide supports a diverse range of and is now a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. This is an acknowledgment of the breadth, depth and vibrancy of the city’s independent musicians, a developing and entrepreneurial music industry, a series of world-class music and arts festivals, as well as leading music education and performance institutions. Australia’s UNESCO Creative cities include Melbourne (City of Literature), Sydney (City of Film), Geelong (City of Design) and designated in late 2020, Ballarat (City of Craft and Folk Arts) and Bendigo (City of Gastronomy).

About the UNESCO Creative Cities Network
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 246 cities across the globe currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level. The Creative Cities Network is a privileged partner of UNESCO, not only as a platform for reflection on the role of creativity as a lever for sustainable development but also as a breeding ground of action and innovation.

Official quotes from UNESCO Creative Cities participating in the global EQ project

Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide UNESCO City of Music is thrilled to be joining forces with its fellow UNESCO Cities of Music for this important global EQ initiative. Adelaide’s project led by Music SA involves 13 inspiring people from the ages 18-25 to write and record a song, and star in their own music video. Rebecca Pearce said “The gender equality project EQ is a wonderful example of how music can bring people together, to feel empowered and help to create change. This global initiative provides a powerful platform for female and non-binary people to tell stories through their own lens and using their own voice.

Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland UNESCO City of Music | Tāmaki Makaurau UNESCO Pā Puoro (ACOM) is proud to be supporting this incredibly important initiative. This project will take positive and timely steps towards addressing the massive gender imbalances that exist in the music and screen sectors. ACOM Director, Mark Roach said “What is clear from the collegial conversations between our Cities of Music, is that the entrenched and often unconscious gender bias is a global issue and not isolated to any one city. It falls to all of us to take affirmative actions to remove barriers and create the optimum conditions for female creatives to thrive.” ACOM is looking forward to developing EQ with its fellow Cities of Music initially, before providing a framework that cities worldwide can incorporate into their urban strategies.

Hannover, Germany
Alice Moser, Hannover UNESCO City of Music said: Hannover is excited to participate in the EQ initiative with its fellow UNESCO Cities of Music. EQ is a powerful music project and addresses the important global issue of gender* equality in music. Even today there is still a gender imbalance across so many areas of the music industry and very male-dominated. I think it is important that gender* equality does not focus on one gender and ignore the others. Ideally, one day this will not be necessary anymore and we can see people thriving in what they do and not put that much focus on their gender.

Norrköping, Sweden
Norrköping Focal Point Sandra Wall said Norrköping UNESCO City of Music is proud to be a part of the global EQ initiative and supporting women on their way to finding their creativity, their own voice and their own path into the music industry. I hope the impact of EQ will achieve change on a local, national and global level. The gender imbalance is a global issue and part of our concrete work to achieve the SDG: s for Agenda 2030. We want to put inclusion, equality and Gender equality on the agenda- but also freedom of speech and social sustainability. Norrköping is excited for this opportunity to develop the EQ initiative with its fellow Cities of Music, providing a framework that cities worldwide can incorporate into their urban strategies”.


Fighting a system
That’s rooted to the ground
But there’re trees who’s seeds are deeper, and louder than their sound
Walls of magic all around us in this nightmare COVID world
Same stem, different flowers
Even with our futures blurred
We’re not here to appease you
To please you I’m dressing up to feel myself
Not to tease you
With your existence comes resistance It’s part of the deal
When you’re valued only by your sex appeal

I cant speak my truth no matter what I’m facing
I will fight through all the battles, my dreams I’m chasing
We’re capable, irreplaceable
United we fight it, we break through these walls

With our spirits all around us
We shall live unbound
We will never give up
We will stand our ground
Feeling like sisyphus
Our work is never done
But we’re running on the knowledge that we are one

Don’t be deceived, we haven’t won the fight
Still get stalked when I walk Rundle Mall at night
And don’t get mad at those who choose a silicon body
But at the world if it ever made you feel less worthy

Photo: Emerald