Arab Today, arab today eurovision a stage for geopolitical conflicts
Last Updated : GMT 21:13:50
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Eurovision, a stage for geopolitical conflicts

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Eurovision, a stage for geopolitical conflicts

Conchita Wurst from Austria (C)
Vienna - AFP

Behind the kitsch, glitz and smoke machines of the Eurovision Song Contest -- hosted Saturday by Vienna -- hide more serious international geopolitical tensions, says the creator of the world's first university course on the popular music competition.

Historian Dean Vuletic leads a EU-funded research project at the University of Vienna, focusing on the annual Eurovision sing-off as a vehicle for diplomacy and socio-political messages.

"It is an effective tool to approach history because it prompts people to talk about political issues through cultural references," Vuletic told AFP in an interview.

For instance, it served as "a great mirror" for the complex relationship between the West and Soviet states during the Cold War.

Communist Yugoslavia's entry into Eurovision in 1961 -- barely six years after the contest was first launched -- helped demonstrate that it was the Eastern European nation most open to Western cultural influences back then, Vuletic argued.

"It was the only communist country that participated in it throughout the Cold War," he said.
Meanwhile, Austria sent a "highly symbolic message" in 1968, when Soviet tanks crushed the Prague Spring, by sending Czech singer Karel Gott as its representative.

"From the Austrian perspective, it was an expression of support for the reforms that were taking place and desire for closer ties with its eastern neighbours," said Vuletic.

The following year Austria boycotted the contest because it was being held in Spain, then under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Eurovision gained even greater political significance as countries of the former Eastern bloc began joining the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the song contest.

Accession was easy because the group had no political or economic entry requirements -- all a country needed was a public television service.

"From the early 1990s, it was really the first Western European organisation that former communist nations could enter," said Vuletic.

"They used it as a forum, in which they could express and affirm their aspirations for European integration."

Once these countries became members of NATO and eventually the European Union, however, Eurovision lost its lustre: "You can see that many of them stopped putting so much effort into the contest after their political aims were accomplished."

- 'We Don't Wanna Put In'

In more recent times, tensions between the West and Russia have flared up again, notably over Ukraine, and this too is being played out on the Eurovision stage.

At the 2014 competition in Copenhagen, just two months after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in March, Russia's Tolmachevy Sisters were booed by the audience in the final.  

In contrast, Austria's bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst was wildly cheered and went on to win the contest.
Conchita "profited from the tensions between Russia and the West by presenting herself as a symbol of Western liberal values" -- especially in light of Russia's strong anti-gay stance -- said Vuletic.

Russia appears to fare better this year with singer Polina Gagarina, whose peace song "A Million Voices" was voted into Saturday's final in Vienna to loud applause.

While the EBU welcomes entries dealing with positive political themes, overtly critical or nationalist content is strictly forbidden.

Lyrics often tread a fine line here, such as the 2015 entry by finalist Armenia.

Many perceived the song, originally called "Don't Deny," to be a direct reference to the 100th anniversary of the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman forces, which Turkey refuses to recognise as genocide.

In the end, Armenia changed the title to "Face the Shadow" to remove any suggestion of political intent.
Other nations have tried to find more creative ways of getting around the "no politics" rule.

Georgia attempted to join the 2009 edition in Moscow with the song "We Don't Wanna Put In". The EBU rejected the entry on the basis it was an obvious wordplay on Putin.

For Vuletic, the ideal Eurovision song carries a "strong universal message at the right historical time".

"Nationalist messages don't do well because they're not something that other Europeans can necessarily relate to."

 

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today eurovision a stage for geopolitical conflicts Arab Today, arab today eurovision a stage for geopolitical conflicts

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today eurovision a stage for geopolitical conflicts Arab Today, arab today eurovision a stage for geopolitical conflicts

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Arab tradition glitters in Colombia

GMT 12:59 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Arab tradition glitters in Colombia
Arab Today, arab today Second US judge orders freeze

GMT 08:04 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Second US judge orders freeze
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Silent Republicans have their reasons

GMT 16:55 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Silent Republicans have their reasons
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Massacre fears spark race

GMT 19:09 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Massacre fears spark race
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival

GMT 07:47 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival
Arab Today, arab today Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 09:31 2017 Monday ,16 October

Dalal Abdel Aziz happy for “Seventh Neighbor”

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:29 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Designer produced new set of ornaments

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 23:42 2017 Monday ,16 October

Better Marriages Make

GMT 06:52 2017 Monday ,16 October

Airbus CEO says won't cling to job

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 20:46 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

GMT 19:29 2017 Tuesday ,29 August

Yomna: decoration leaved positive effects
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday