The world is shocked, Russia invades Ukraine, a war in Europe is happing now. How is the Eurovision Song Contest effected by this situation?
This terrible situation we are facing now, nobody could image years ago. A nightmare has become reality, Russia attacks the Ukraine in a massive way. Normally we are not political, but in the case of war and the impact on the peaceful event like the Eurovision Song Contest, we do have an issue. The ESC is known for uniting people in a friendly competition of music. It’s also a verified cultural event which has even been awarded with the Karl’s medal of Aachen in 2016 for its peaceful function. The Eurovision Song Contest is considered as a bridge between nations, inspire friendship between people, no matter where they are from, all united by the love of music.
The ESC exists since 1956, World War II has ended only a decade before. The aim to bring people and nations together is a very high value, which should not be underestimated. European communities have built up city partnerships, school exchanges and cultural event to cultivate a new Europe, which is liberal, democratic and free. Borders have fallen after the cold war and new countries could develop. It was so great to see how nations flourish in this optimistic atmosphere of a new start with a prosperous future. The Eurovision Song Contest has put the cherry on the cake, an exciting and entertaining evening for all generations, all nations, and a lookout how our future should look like. Countries from Eastern Europe and even beyond joined this family with great enthusiasm, also Russia.
Now we are facing a very different situation, war, fear and aggression in Europe caused by the Russian invaders in a peaceful, aspiring European country Ukraine. Nobody can ignore that and this will also have an effect in the future for all of us. We don’t want to have this situation, a war in the year 2022 is shocking and still unbelievable. There will be victims on all sides and nobody knows, how it will go on. Even the modern Russians protest on the streets of Russian cities.
The Eurovision Song Contest has proved to be unwavering to all political situations in the past (cold war, fall of the Berlin wall, Balkan war, etc.) and there could always be found a way out by the EBU to hold the ESC, even with the thread of Covid-19. All the time there is the same question of “how could they organize a happy song contest, while there is war in…?.”. Other public events like football, festivals, carnival, etc. also have to face this question, can we fade out the issues in the ESC, which concerns the world? We should take the chance to use the ESC to put the fingers on the wound and address it to the aggressor. When we had the wave of refugees, the ESC 2016 in Stockholm used the interval act to address this problem to the world, or last year when the Dutch have drawn the attention to the climate change.
Now there are more and more voices claiming that the EBU should exclude Russia from the ESC. Today the EBU has reacted in coordination with the EBU reference group, it’s clear that Russia will not be part of this year’s ESC in Turin, it will be excluded. Russia has not given a statement, yet.
Nevertheless, it won’t be an easy time, there are hundreds of questions and people don’t accept a war in Europe.
Let’s hope that this nightmare will be over soon and we can look into a bright future.
Public relations, Editor, Journalist
About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!