Rising Like the Eurovision Song Contest

On Kitsch, Camp, and Queer Culture

  • Tiina Rosenberg
Keywords: camp, Eurovision Song Contest, kitsch, 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.


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How to Cite
Rosenberg, T. (2020). Rising Like the Eurovision Song Contest : On Kitsch, Camp, and Queer Culture. Lambda Nordica, 25(2), 93-113. https://doi.org/10.34041/ln.v25.676