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Vogue: Drag Syndrome

Client: Vogue
Date: Jun 2020
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Jess Kohl’s uplifting film about a troupe of drag kings and kings with Down’s syndrome is just the tonic for anyone missing out on Pride celebrations this year. The Prettybird UK director has made a heart-warming and joyous film following ‘Drag Syndrome’, a group of professional drag artists, which is featured as the 2nd instalment of British Vogue’s specially commissioned Pride 2020 video series.

Jess Kohl describes the short film documenting a collective of drag kings and queens with Down’s syndrome with big personalities, who she describes as “complex, tough people doing their own thing, walking paths that haven’t been walked before, and opening doors for others in the process.”

‘Drag Syndrome’ documents a day trip to RuPaul’s DragCon UK when the performers take to the stage as part of virtual Pride celebrations. The event was the first of its kind in the UK and Drag Syndrome’s life-affirming performance struck a poignant note during 2020’s virtual Pride when reflection is taking precedence over celebration. Kohl explains: “People are taking time to rethink about what Pride is, to remember how it started and to honour people like Marsha P Johnson [the late African-American transgender activist]. It’s heartbreaking for isolated people [not being able to come together in person], but there are positives to come out of this.”