Rising Like the Eurovision Song Contest
On Kitsch, Camp, and Queer Culture
The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the ESC is still shining after more than half a century and even now seems relevant for its audiences. In the ESC, queer interaction and togetherness are based on a combination of kitsch and camp, an aesthetic style and sensibility that aficionados regard as appealing because of its ironic, overthe-top challenging of the norms of ‘good behavior’ and ‘good taste.’ Nonetheless, it may seem strange that the ESC, a post-war European peace utopia and mainstream music event, is identified to such a degree as queer today, and the question remains whether the ESC can be of interest to dykes and feminists. This essay, therefore, revisits the notions of kitsch and camp as queer communication strategies. It closes with a reflection on the contest’s arbitrary notions of Europe, its troubled geopolitics, and its radically extroverted playing with taste taboos as pleasurable entertainment.
Copyright (c) 2020 Tiina Rosenberg
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.