Artist Glenn Kaino directs "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by Deon Jones ft. Jon Batiste

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Artist Glenn Kaino directs "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by Deon Jones ft. Jon Batiste
All-star team of social activists, artists and musicians update U2 anthem for the ongoing fight for progress and equality. 100% of proceeds go to Fair Fight Georgia. Photo: Courtesy of Glenn Kaino Studio.

NEW YORK, NY.- Inspired by the global protests of summer 2020, artist Glenn Kaino and creative change agent Deon Jones gathered an all-star team to record an updated version of the civil rights anthem “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.

More than an anthem, the song is an artwork. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” is the first component of Glenn Kaino’s exhibition In the Light of a Shadow, which will open at MASS MoCA in February 2021. It is a hopeful gesture, offering the promise of new possibility—a desperately needed emotional experience in this anxiety-ridden moment.

100% of proceeds of the song will go to Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight, which promotes fair elections in Georgia and around the country. The song is now available on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube.

How long must we sing this song?

First recorded by U2 in 1983, the song specifically refers to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and also memorializes the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, led by the late congressman John Lewis. This summer, amidst the protests against police brutality and racial injustice, another layer to the song has been written. On May 30, the social activist and vocalist Deon Jones was peacefully protesting in Los Angeles after the death of George Floyd when police shot him at close range in the face with a rubber bullet.

“My doctor told me that I’m on this earth right now by a margin of an inch,” said Deon Jones. “For me, this song is about working through those feelings, praying with it, sitting with it. It is dedicated to all the voices that have been rising across the world and still not getting sufficient response or action.”

Immediately following Jones’ attack and recovery, his mentor and long-collaborator, the artist Glenn Kaino rallied an all-star cast of collaborators to his side—including Butch Vig (producer of Garbage, Nirvana), virtuoso pianist Jon Batiste (bandleader, Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert), and drummer Glenn Kotche (Wilco) – to re-imagine the classic U2 song around Jones, who is also a vocalist. The result is a startling, beautiful video directed by Kaino and shot by cinematographer Larry Fong (300, Watchmen).

“My work is about the radical implications of hope,” said artist Glenn Kaino. “How can an aesthetic experience surmount the ugliness and injustice of the world? If art promises a better world, then what exactly is written in that promise?”

100% of song proceeds will be donated to Fair Fight, which promotes fair elections in Georgia and around the country.

“I’m so happy to be working with Deon, Jon, and Glenn on Sunday Bloody Sunday. Our vote and our future go hand in hand. In order to foster life-saving policies, build on progress made, and see new horizons of equality we must protect access to the ballot box now and for generations to come,” says Stacey Abrams.

In a culture dominated by ugliness and division, the team’s rendition of a classic does more than provide a soundtrack to our moment, it reminds us of how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.

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