Global Notes: Is Eurovision Really Non-Political?
This year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, held in Tel Aviv, recently wrapped up. The Netherland’s Duncan Laurence emerged victorious after performing “Arcade,” an emotional ballad he co-wrote. The contest, officially non-political, was plagued by political controversy for months before any of the contestants arrived in Tel Aviv. Ukraine chose not to send anyone to Tel Aviv after Ukrainian officials questioned the patriotism of its planned entrant, Maruv. At the same time, pro-Palestinian activists called for contestants to boycott the competition because it was held in Israel. Iceland’s Eurovision pick, a BDSM techno band named Hatari, ultimately held the Palestinian flag as their public vote was announced at the end of Eurovision’s live finale. And the stories go on. Joining Worldview to provide political analysis is Dean Vuletic, a historian of contemporary Europe based at the University of Vienna. He is the author of Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest. Chicago-area Eurovision fans Alexandra and Jürgen Reinold, originally from Germany, also weigh in on the best musical acts of the competition.