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The Molitva Factor: Eurovision Song Contest and ‘Performing’ National Identity in World Politics

Baker, Catherine

Authors



Contributors

Adam Dubin
Editor

Dean Vuletic
Editor

Antonio Obregón
Editor

Abstract

This chapter explores how the author's research into nationalism, popular culture, gender and sexuality in international politics has been able to apply the idea that the Eurovision Song Contest illustrates the idea of contestants as symbolic representatives of the nation, whose bodies and embodied practices can be said to 'perform' national identity. Moreover, the twenty-first-century ESC has drawn together debates over popular music and debates over LGBTQ rights which, in the context of post-Yugoslav nationalisms, both turn on how far they might affirm nations' 'Europeanness' and have become what Bojan Bilić terms a 'litmus test' for nations' international image. By exploring how embodied performances of nationhood can attempt to sway the 'litmus test' in particular ways through examples from the ESC, including Marija Šerifović's victorious Serbian entry 'Molitva' (2007) which opened itself to queer interpretations, the chapter suggests that such insights can be extended to other symbolic representatives of the nation including political leaders, providing a framework which explains not only the ESC's embodied politics but also the public personas of figures such as Serbia's openly lesbian prime minister Ana Brnabić, whose appointment in 2017 raised similar issues to those surrounding Belgrade's hosting of the ESC and Pride.

Citation

Baker, C. (2022). The Molitva Factor: Eurovision Song Contest and ‘Performing’ National Identity in World Politics. In A. Dubin, D. Vuletic, & A. Obregón (Eds.), The Eurovision Song Contest as a Cultural Phenomenon: From Concert Halls to the Halls of Academia. Abingdon: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003188933

Acceptance Date Jan 31, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 8, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Feb 25, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 9, 2024
Publisher Routledge
Series Title Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies
Book Title The Eurovision Song Contest as a Cultural Phenomenon: From Concert Halls to the Halls of Academia
Chapter Number 7
ISBN 9781032037745
DOI https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003188933
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/3935885
Publisher URL https://www.routledge.com/The-Eurovision-Song-Contest-as-a-Cultural-Phenomenon-From-Concert-Halls/Dubin-Vuletic-Obregon/p/book/9781032037745