Music is always political –

Music is always political –
Music is always political –

Nora Bilalović Kulset Head of Department, Department of Music, NTNU


13 May 2024 at 16:21

13 May 2024 at 16:21

This is a debate post. It expresses the debater’s own attitude.

Eurovision Song Contest, European Broadcasting Union – EBU and NRK, what are you thinking when you have now actively told the whole world that music is harmless entertainment, not political at all, just a flower in the buttonhole we can take out when we want to enjoy ourselves a little. And at the same time contributed to the fact that musicians can safely be portrayed as a little naive, someone who wants peace in the world, but who at the same time also simply unfortunately has to focus on their upcoming performance.

United by music, that’s us.

I am thinking, for example, but not only, of NRK’s ​​interview with the 21-year-olds Marcus and Martinus, where they are confronted by the driven news anchor Ingvild Bryn with questions about Israel’s participation. In a competition NRK itself will broadcast. What did NRK want to achieve here?

But also Riddleand their “we want peace in the world but must rest because we are going to play soon” message when they did not want to meet the press before the final.

And all aspiring artists who have been told: “this is your chance to break through, don’t say anything, don’t wear anything, don’t do anything to ruin it!” from the production side (we have both heard and read about many episodes). A production site which, in my opinion, is at the same time falsifying history and censoring the actual sound among the audience in the hall of the TV viewers.

Riddle during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Photo: Martin Meissner / AP

What is this? I simply can’t get into it. Musicians and music are always political. Now we will soon sing “Norway in red, white and blue”. It’s an illegal protest song from WWII, no less. Censored by the Nazis (google and read).

And because music and art are always political, musicians and artists are also the first to be censored when those in power try to control the population. We are the resistance, we stand up for injustice, we are the courage, we are the black sheep that does not follow the herd. What we have experienced that the EBU and NRK have now done is censorship, abuse of power. They have told a story about musicians and dancers taking part in a harmless music competition between broadcasters, not between states, and which is therefore not political.

We have the power, we have said no. Many could not say no before the competition, but now dare to raise their voice. And I refer to the 50th anniversary band ABBA, who won with Waterloo in 1974, and who then gave all rights to the song Chiquitita to UNICEF’s work with vulnerable children. They have collected five million dollars so far. Musicians and music are always political. Don’t turn us into something else, NRK.

What do you mean? Send your text to [email protected] or participate in the debate in the comment field at the bottom – and remember your full name!

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Music political adressa .no


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