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Dua Lipa’s ‘Swan Song’ has amazing LGBT message inspired by AIDS activists

Ella Braidwood January 28, 2019

WANTAGH, NY - JUNE 16: Dua Lipa performs at 103.5 KTU's KTUphoria on June 16, 2018 in Wantagh City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for 103.5 KTU)

Dua Lipa has said that her latest track “Swan Song” is inspired by LGBT activists at ACT UP, an advocacy group working to improve the lives of people with AIDS.

Lipa took to Instagram on Sunday (January 27) to explain the LGBT+ meaning behind her new song, which will feature on the soundtrack of the upcoming film Alita: Battle Angel.

The 23-year-old singer said that “Swan Song” gave a nod to the work of ACT UP, which was formed at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York in March 1987 and is known for its “Silence = Death” slogan.

Dua Lipa: My new song references the “brilliant minds” of LGBT-founded group ACT UP

“Lyrically the song references the brilliant minds at Act Up, a HIV and AIDS activist group from the 80s who’s motto [sic] was ‘Silence equals death’ with the hopes that everyday life we put into action this deeper meaning so that silence never become us,” Lipa wrote on Instagram.

ACT UP received international media coverage in the 1980s through its direction.

“We mustn’t ever quit our battle against the injustices of the world. Even in the hardest moments we must speak up.”

—Dua Lipa

Activists at the group placed “Silence = Death” posters around New York, including an upward-pointing pink triangle, reclaiming the badge used on the uniforms of gay men in Nazi concentration camps.

We must not quit our battles again the world’s injustices, says Dua Lipa

Lipa went on to explain that her “Swan Song” was also inspired by the movie’s titular character Alita, who wakes up in a futuristic post-apocalyptic world and battles against machines with built-in skills.

“Alita fights for the lives of marginalised people,” Lipa said.

Dua Lipa on Instagram
Dua Lipa took to Instagram to post about her new track “Swan Song.” (dualipa/Instagram)

“Hopefully we all find a part of ourselves in Alita’s character and see that we mustn’t ever quit our battle against the injustices of the world.

“Even in the hardest moments we must speak up.”

She explained how, traditionally, a “swan song” is a person’s “final public performance or professional activity before retirement.”

Lipa added: “So the idea behind it is that ‘This is NOT a swan song’ this is only the beginning of our fight for justice.”

More: ACT UP, dua lipa, LGBT

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