The Politics of Music: Words Are the Only Weapon

From The European Magazine:

How can we celebrate and seek comfort in pop entertainment while dissidents are beaten and repressed? The only beneficiaries of “apolitical art” is the regime which avoids scrutiny.

The great Norwegian composer Edvard Hagerup Grieg (1843-1907) refused to give concerts in France until the famous case against Captain Dreyfus had been dismissed. I cited this example in a letter, addressed to Mr. Jon Ola Sand, a Norwegian Eurovision producer. In August 2011, Azerbaijan authorities started mass demolition of houses in Baku in order to hold the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) there. I requested that letters of protest be sent to the authorities, demanding the refusal of a song contest built on the ruins of houses where blood was shed, accompanied by tears of women and children beaten by the police and forcedly displaced from their apartments. Mr. Sand replied:

“I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the EBU is not involved with, nor requested or commissioned any construction work to be done in Baku in relation to the Eurovision Song Contest […]. The EBU firmly holds the belief that the Eurovision Song Contest should remain clear from political messages or influence, and we strongly protect the event from being used as a political platform […].”

ESC-Organizers do not want to know about the situation of human rights and the clan-mafia regime deeply rooted in Azerbaijan.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The European Magazine