Make Love Not War: Eurovision’s Diversity

April 18, 2019 3 min to read

This year will be the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest is scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv, Israel. The contest will be held at Expo Tel Aviv, the city's convention centre; the show will consist of two semi-finals on 14 and 16 May, and the final on 18 May 2019.The slogan of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is about daring to dream. Eurovision boss Jon Ola Sand said the slogan “represents and symbolises everything that the Eurovision Song Contest is about. It’s about inclusion. It’s about diversity. It’s about unity.” But what is diversity exactly?

Slogan Eurovision 2017

The slogan of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2017 was literally “Celebrate Diversity”. As every year the logo and design suits the central message. Diversity can mean different things for different people. According to Viktoriia Sydorenko, the international PR Manager for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, the slogan is all about Europe. “Each country is so different, but at the same time comes together by sharing common values. This diversity of cultures makes us stronger as we complete each other” says Sydorenko. For others it means loving each other for who you are and not trying to change each other. Or it could be seen as freedom, tolerance and respect for all opinions.

Are you curious about the Eurovision Song Contest this year? Learn more about the Eurovision 2019 odds here.

The first lines of Albania’s song in 2017 may be seen as a reflection of the Celebrate Diversity slogan: We're so alike, yet different. Lindita, the Albanian singer, was extremely happy that her message fitted with that of the slogan. “When I think of the slogan it means loving each other for who you are and not trying to change each other,” she said.

Language diversity

Since 1999 the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) allows contestants to sing in the language of their choice. Before contestants were obligated to sing in their own language. Only in 1973 the rules on the use of language in a participating song were relaxed. However, this was reversed in 1977. It was feared that countries wouldn’t sing in their own language anymore. Nevertheless, this year there are still 18 different languages to be heard on the Eurovision stage. On the contrary, English will be present in 32 of the entries. Some countries sing in their own language more often than others. Examples of this are Portugal, Italy, Spain and France.

French was the language that won the first Eurovision Song Contest, performed by Lys Assia for Switzerland. Since then, there have been 36 winners with lyrics in languages other than English while 31 songs won with lyrics fully or partially in English.

Gay-friendly contest

Drag queens, a lesbians kiss and a transgender champion are part of the history of Eurovision. The LGBT community seems to be accepted in Europe’s annual musical extravaganza. Some people mistake Eurovision for a gay event. But Eurovision is not related to Pride events around the world whatsoever. However, it’s commonly known that Eurovision fans primarily belong in the LGBT community, which has often led to the contest being used as a platform to promote equal rights. That’s also why the rainbow flags can be seen in the public so often.

The first openly gay contestant was the Icelandic pop singer Paul Oscar in 1997.

The subsequent edition took things a step further as the Israeli transgender singer Dana International won the competition with the song “Diva”, a dancehall hit celebrating women from history and mythology. The diversity of the LGBT community was brought to the fore with Conchita Wurst’s in 2014. The singer’s triumph was a first for a drag queen.

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Remi is a full-time barber but when he clocks out his other passion is Formula 1 racing, which he enjoys seasonally along with other high adrenaline sports.


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