Baker uses contestations over flags at the Eurovision Song Contest to illustrate the paradox that, while Eurovision is ostensibly ‘non-political’ and prohibits ‘political’ messages and symbols, organisers, hosts, broadcasters, contestants and fans have regularly articulated narratives of European and national identity using performance, participation and commentary, thus engaging in politicized contentions over meanings and boundaries of European belonging. In 2015–16, several controversies about the display of regional, rainbow and disputed flags during Eurovision broadcasts exposed contestations over how producers, journalists, fans and casual viewers understood the boundaries of ‘the political’ in international competition. Baker concludes this revealed that Eurovision’s supposedly transnational public sphere was still officially conceived state-centrically and in ways that separated sexual and gender ‘diversity’ from politicized LGBT rights claims.
Baker, C. (in press). "If love was a crime, we would be criminals": the Eurovision Song Contest and the queer international politics of flags. In B. Wellings, J. Kalman, & K. Jacotine (Eds.), Eurovisions: Identity and the international politics of the Eurovision Song Contest since 1956Palgrave Macmillan