By Rhys Masrani
CALGARY – Callouts are a phenomenon best described as denouncing people who have performed acts of abuse via the many medians of social media. Whether it be sexual assault, hate crimes, or bigotry of any kind, callout culture is what many have seen as the only means to and end in communities and industries where there are no other systems in place to stop these acts of abuse.
It gives credence to the concept of “power in numbers” by allowing individuals to take matters into their own hands through publicly sharing their stories and letting their peers decide the outcome of the abuser.
This has created international discussion over the past year with the #metoo movement, but it’s history runs much deeper in the various music scenes around the globe. The core of its uprising is due to the fact that there has been a severe lack in organizations and projects geared towards preventing these issues from happening to begin with.
At this year’s Alberta Electronic Music Conference, there is an entire panel dedicated to this issue.
“The callouts happen, and that’s great, but now what? Do we have the skills as a community to manage what comes next?” says Stacey Forrester, moderator for this upcoming discussion. Forrester is the harm reduction manager at Bass Coast Festival and co-founded feminist harm reduction organization Good Night Out.
However, the call to arms has been recognized. We are seeing organizations such as SASS who have set out to help put and end to bigotry and sexual crimes in the Calgary dance scene, ANKORS who among offering many other non prejudiced facilities provide drug testing and harm reduction at Shambhala and Vancouver’s Good Night Out. They are making waves by offering services to any and all establishments operating with a liquor license.
With a background of ten years in community health care and even longer within the electronic music scene, she has seen and heard the need for the implementation of something greater.
“People resort to this when they feel they are not being heard by the usual channels that are meant to protect them,” says Forrester. “I want the guests to leave [the conference] with tools.”
What will the future of electronic music look like? How will we make this change? Forrester has selected some great advocates for safer spaces to discuss these questions. Including Dr. Jessalynn Keller, an expert in girls’ media culture and digital feminism. Clint Frazier, a mentor to youth with mental health issues and a Juno nominated musician. Allison Dunne, a die hard of the Calgary music scene and contributor to SASS. And Adam Geosphere, a well versed DJ and promoter of the electronic underground.
Hear Stacey speak at the Safer Scenes: Moving Beyond Call Out Culture on Saturday, November 17 at 2:30 p.m. in the AEMCON AuditoriumAEMCON, Alberta Electronic Music Conference, Safer Scenes: Moving Beyond Call Out Culture, Stacey Forrester