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'Antes cursi que sencilla': Eurovision Song Contests and the Kitsch-Drive to Euro-Unity

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Abstract:

This essay proposes that kitsch, in this instance the kitsch exemplified by the musical and sartorial look, sound and feel of Eurovision Song Contests (ESC), may not only influence the popular appeal of the current European-unity project, but provide that project with its governing aesthetic and imaginary. Indeed, noting that the ESC has been more inclusive than, and arguably ahead of, the parallel economic and political movement to European union in the post-World War II era, the essay proposes an aesthetic reclamation of kitsch as a socio-political and intercultural avant garde that avoids ethno-national conflict. The essay argues that unlike the historical-material spaces in which creolisation emerges, the Euro kitsch-drive enables disparate peoples to enter a mass-mediated kinship group in a networked zone of peace and superficial familiarity.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735780701293540

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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