Eurovision 2009 – Georgia, Putin, Azerbaijan and Iran …
The 54th Eurovision Song Contest is just over in Moscow. As one of the unexpected aspects of Eurovision – World’s largest musical contest – the observers mention its growing political background. Using popularity and huge worldwide audience of Eurovision, some countries use this song contest to promote political goals.
The first example of this sort in Eurovision 2009 was the song “We Don't Wanna Put In” performed by Stephane & 3G and presented to contest by Georgia. The song sounded like a thinly-disguised attack on Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, just after the Russian-Georgian war in South Ossetia in 2008. But Georgia withdrew from Eurovision 2009 after being ordered by the organizers to change the “political” lyrics of its entry. So the song “We Don't Wanna Put In” was not included in the program of the contest.
Stephane & 3G
Conflict in Georgia
The next example was the clip “Always” by AySel & Arash presented by Azerbaijan. In decorations and haircut of the actress, who presented Azerbaijan, the image-makers from Baku used images of Poets’ Mausoleum in Tabriz in Iran as an illustration of Azeri-Türk culture. The observers consider this to be a promotion of ideas of unification of Northern Azerbaijan (Baku) and Southern Azerbaijan (Tabriz).
AySel & Arash
Haircut a-la Poets’ Mausoleum
Poets’ Mausoleum in Tabriz in Iran
Grandmother and Grandfather monument
Interestingly, the organizers of Eurovision 2009 allowed the Iran-related decorations used by Azerbaijan, although they did not allow Armenia to use a photo of the Armenian Grandmother and Grandfather monument just because it is on the territory of Nagorno Karabakh. Azerbaijan accepts that Grandmother and Grandfather is an Armenian monument, but did not allow Eurovision to display it because they argue it would be promotion of the Armenian approach to the Karabakh conflict. And in Azerbaijan the phone number to vote for Armenia was blocked, at all.
It remains to very much regret that World’s largest song contest is becoming a battleground for political promotion. Fortunately, the winner of Eurovision 2009 was Alexander Rybak of Norway with song “Fairytale” not related to politics at all.
Alexander Rybak of Norway
Samsar Analytics, 2009