Friday, April 13, 2007

Second Kontakt: Thompson In Sarajevo

The ongoing row over whether the Croatian patriotic singer Marko Perković Thompson should be allowed to perform in Sarajevo to mark the 10th anniversary of the papal visit to the Bosnian capital has now made its way on to Nova TV and Hloverka Novak-Srzić's Kontakt talk show. Kontakt's last musical excursion, into the question of whether the Folk revija concert ought to be allowed in Zagreb, achieved swift results, with the event being cancelled less than 24 hours later. Judging by the outcome of the Kontakt phone-in vote (viewers were asked whether they considered Thompson a 'rocker-patriot' or an 'Ustaša', 77% of them opting for the former), the majority of its audience won't be hoping for the same effect in this case.

This time out, Novak-Srzić hosted Senad Avdić (editor of the newspaper Slobodna Bosna), Boris Kožemjakin (president of the Sarajevo Jewish community, and one of the first to protest against Thompson's planned concert), and Ante Jelić, president of the Croatian charity which had invited Thompson in the first place.

However, Jelić's determination that the concert will go ahead unless actually banned by the Bosnian authorities may now be tested by the government of Sarajevo canton and its culture minister Emir Hadžihafizbegović, who considers that the case has been escalated into a political scandal and that no contract has yet been signed for the use of the advertised venue, the Zetra arena. While the local authority certainly plans to commemorate the Papal visit, Thompson's appropriateness for the anniversary is another question, the local authority's attitude being that 'xenophobic messages of the kind there are at Marko Perković's performances do not belong in this city, which has much experience of the consequences of national misanthropy.'

UPDATE:: Reuters has now picked up the Sarajevo story - and there's an extensive interview with Thompson in Jutarnji list this weekend. (Thanks Shaina and Observer!)

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At 6:39 am, April 14, 2007, Blogger Shaina said...

the thompson visit has also made the news outside of the Balkans, via UK Reuters news agency:

At 10:26 am, April 15, 2007, Blogger observer said...


At 11:10 am, April 15, 2007, Blogger Catherine said...

Thanks for the links, both of you!


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