Monday, May 14, 2007

A European Vote For European Serbia?

Following the line of Olli Rehn, the EU's enlargement commissioner who hailed Serbia's Eurovision victory as 'a European vote for European Serbia', the symbolic connection between the removal of Serbian Radical Tomislav Nikolić as parliamentary speaker and Serbia's 'acceptance' by the rest of Europe has not been lost on post-Eurovision reporters: The Guardian, for instance, headlines its whole-page article 'From pariah state to kitsch victory: how a Balkan ballad showed Europe a new Serbia'.

Jutarnji list likewise emphasises 'how symbolic that victory was in the week where Serbia on account of Nikolić had again become a country dreaded by Europe', and quotes the Vojvodinan parliamentary deputy Nenad Čanak's statement that (Nikolić having called for closer ties between Serbia and Russia) 'Croatia gave us twelve points, so did Montenegro and Macedonia, and Russia [gave us] five. So Tomislav Nikolić has to be dismissed.'

The Guardian's Ian Traynor also interprets the victory as a blow against the 'ear-splitting melange of Balkan rhythms, electronic pounding, and stridently nationalist lyrics' of turbofolk, although Rock and Democracy is less optimistic regarding the longer-term consequences for popular music in Serbia when Eurovision is hosted there next year:

'A mainly eastern bloc led by Ukraine will push into Serbia and then strengthen a growing domestic fruit, and of course you all know that that fruit is called Turbo-folk.'

There's not so much about cultural politics in Serbian tabloid Kurir, which treats Marija Šerifović's win as a victory for the whole nation, celebrated as publicly as the return of sporting gold medallists. (Though Reluctant Dragon, on Belgrade's Trg Republike after Eurovision, couldn't help thinking that some crowd members who were 'chanting nationalistic slogans were nonetheless 'the same people who would probably beat her up in the street if they suspected she was a Gypsy or if it turned out she actually was gay.')

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At 5:23 pm, May 14, 2007, Anonymous Karolina Goceva said...

Marija Sh. and her ballad were OK.

- Meet Karolina Goceva, the Macedonian Eurovision girl!


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