This past March, the country of Ukraine banned a Russian Eurovision contestant (Yulia Samoylova) from entering their country to compete in the contest. For those that don’t know, Eurovision is a song contest across all of Europe, and this year it happens to be in Kiev, Ukraine.
As many of you know, there has been a lot of tension over there with the Russians invading and taking Crimea from the Ukrainians. But that’s not what this blog post is about. I’ll let CNN and Fox talk about that topic. This post is about the music.
Being part Russian and part Ukrainian myself, I think all this drama is stupid. Like I said I’m only here to talk about the music, so I’m not choosing a side, or condoning improper political behavior on this blog post. Being a musician as well, I have seen first-hand how music and the arts can connect people of all backgrounds. Music is supposed to be uniting and inspiring. Not a political ploy to get back at someone.
Per an article by the New York Times, “roughly 180 million people around the world tune in to the contest, which features contests from around 40 countries.” With so many people tuning in all over the world and 40 contestants, I don’t see why they aren’t all fighting this. Surely there are people who share my feelings on this crime against the arts. If I could suggest a call to action for the contestants it would be to boycott the Eurovision competition. And they should all band together and do a “We Are The World” type of video, to show the governments that tampering with the arts has no place in politics. And ticket holders should not attend the event until this has been fixed.
I think music is one of the few things on this planet that can bring all kinds of people together, and I don’t think we should let anyone take that away from us.