2007-05-14

Marija Šerifović and the "new Serbia"

In the comments to the previous post on Marija Šerifović and her Eurovisionary song "Molitva," I linked to another blog that labelled the song a "turbo-folkić," and Bganon argued that "any association is wide of the mark." It seems Vesna Perić Zimonjić agrees. Writing in the Independent, she puts Marija Šerifović in the context of social and political conflicts in Serbia, describing the celebration of her award:

"Belgrade exploded with joy the moment her victory was proclaimed, with thousands taking to the streets, honking car horns and waving the Serbian flag in the capital's central Republic Square until dawn.

Such outpourings are typical when the country's basketball or water polo teams are victorious. But this was different, for it was the first time the proverbially macho Serbs had done the same honours for a young female singer - let alone one with Serifovic's unusual fashion sense."

I am not sure I can say how much importance ought to be attributed to her "fashion sense," which seems to range from K.D. Lang to Bryan Ferry. But it's all good if it supports the characterization of her victory gesture, "Her clenched fist victory salute was widely seen as a show of defiance by the forces in Serbia that stand in direct opposition to the ultranationalists and their policy of isolation and hostility to all minorities."

Maybe that offers a sort of background for the silly argument between the Unija Roma Srbije (in whose campaign Šerifović participated, and in which her mother is a member and her uncle an officer) and the Srpska Radikalna Stranka (of which, they claim, her grandfather is a member) over which political party can claim credit for her singing. She says she is not a member of any party, but that did not seem to distract the party leaders much.

Catherine also has a roundup of press coverage.

Update: It ain't Balkanology without essentialism, right? Here is Frank Tiggelaar's English translation of an article from the Dutch NRC Handelsblad about macho countries and ideal women. Or is it macho women and ideal countries?

Yet another update: Uh oh, bilo bi dobro i meni da pogledate the comments to the previous post, where Paul points us to charges that "Molitva" is lifted from the Albanian hit "Ndarja" by Soni Malaj. And did the unfortunate Scooch pinch a tune from DaRiva?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Her clenched fist victory salute was widely seen as a show of defiance by the forces in Serbia that stand in direct opposition to the ultranationalists and their policy of isolation and hostility to all minorities."

She also used the three finger salute as seen in this photo. The Muslims are complaining at their sites.

http://www.superbosna.com/images/stories/muzika/evrovizija_2007_srbija2.jpg

Anonymous said...

Attempting the link again:

http://www.superbosna.com/images/stories/muzika/evrovizija_2007_srbija2.jpg

Eric Gordy said...

That's either the three finger thing or the Uma Thurman-John Travolta dance from Pulp Fiction.

Dejan said...

I say it's an Orwellian song. Not to mention that once again the Serbs got a fuzzy feeling that they accomplished something because somebody else, who happens to carry the same passport, won something. And that something is, what we call around here - dno dna - or the bottom of a cultural pit hole.

Eric Gordy said...

Darn it, Dejan, now you have me rummaging through my memories of "1984" trying to remember the songs. And somehow it all gets mixed up with "WR."

Anonymous said...

From: Dafni Tragaki


This is a theme for serious academic research. I send you the link for a forthcoming conference entitled: "Singing
Europe: Spectacle and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest". The
conference will take place in Greece, Athens, 29 Feb. -2 March 2008.


http://extras.ha.uth.gr/eurovision/en/index.asp


Dafni Tragaki
Dept. of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology
Univ. of Thessaly
Volos, Greece