Antony Hegarty shares a playlist of his favourite songs on the theme of trans-femininity and future feminism
Today sees the release of a new documentary by Antony and the Johnsons and Charles Atlas, capturing the former's powerful performance piece TURNING as it toured across Europe in 2006. In Hegarty's words, the show explored "the intersection between images of contemporary trans-femininity and visions of pioneering future feminist artists such as Kembra Pfahler and Johanna Constantine."
Pfahler and Constantine were two of the thirteen women who accompanied the band on the tour and performed with them on stage – spotlit on a revolving platform – as Hegarty sang a range of beautiful, spine-tingling songs, featuring lines such as, "One day I'll grow up, I'll be a beautiful girl. But for today I am a child, for today I am a boy." For the film, which was seven years in the making, segments of this mesmerising live performance are presented alongside candid video portraits of the women involved, documenting their struggles and triumphs on the journey to self-discovery and acceptance. The result is an incredibly moving and intimate piece of cinema that sheds new light on the themes of modern identity and femininity.
Here, in celebration of the film and soundtrack – which Hegarty describes as "some of the most significant work of [his] career" – the multi-talented frontman has made us an exclusive playlist of songs that expand upon TURNING's key motifs.
TURNING is out now on Rough Trade.
Words by Daisy Woodward