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Kim Campbell, gone too soon… 

Alanna Edwards, SFU Gradby Alanna Edwards, SFU, Women Studies Gender Sexuality, Grad.

A tune all too familiar to Canadian women politicians begins the Youtube ballad I conceived after enrolling in a Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies course at Simon Fraser University during the summer of 2011. Taught by Dr. Catherine Murray, a greatly admired Communications professor, the course examined the position of Canadian women politicians in government and the difficulties faced when entering the good ol’ boys club. 

Volunteer hours were required as part of the curriculum and as the class partnered with Dancing with the Octopus, I decided to push myself creatively by envisioning a video performance of an original song in an ode to a documentary our class had watched called Kim Campbell, Through the Looking Glass. Never having written a song before, but with images of Steve Martin’s King Tut routine stuck in my head, I wrote lyrics to which my dear friend Vaughn Swenson put music.

Although sometimes grandiose visions don’t always come to fruition, pushing myself to write a song and to record and edit a video with no previous experience was extremely rewarding on both a personal and professional level. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of challenging yourself, as my experience in Dr. Murray’s class boosted my confidence to continue in fields dominated by men. If a young woman happens to stumble upon this video, my only hope is that she’ll pick up a camera and record her own political parody, or even think that hey, politics IS cool and does have a space for me!

Check out The Ballad of Kim Campbell on youtube, click here.

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