On stage, artists play with symbols to show their support for Palestine

On stage, artists play with symbols to show their support for Palestine
On stage, artists play with symbols to show their support for Palestine

From our special correspondent in Malmö (Sweden)

Hidden messages and discreet symbols but which do not go unnoticed. As Eurovision 2024 opened on Tuesday evening with the first semi-final at the Malmö Arena, several artists took advantage of this stage to express their support for the Palestinian people.

During the opening number, Eric Saade, who had represented Sweden in 2011 and was performing out of competition, sang with a keffiyeh wrapped around his wrist. A mark of support which was not obvious to everyone but enough to be noticed and commented on on social networks. “We regret that Eric Saade has decided to compromise with the idea of ​​a neutral competition,” reacted the organization to the Swedish media Expressen.

Stylized watermelon

Fred Leone, the musician who appeared a little later in the evening with a didgeridoo in the set design of the Australian duo Electric Fields, explained on his Instagram account that he had drawn a (stylized) watermelon on his chest. The fruit, whose colors recall those of the Palestinian flag, is a symbol of support for the Palestinian cause.

“From the river to the sea!” 200 million people [l’audience des demi-finales est en réalité bien moindre] watched and celebrated as innocent children, mothers and fathers died by the thousands in genocide. I have no problem with Jews. Israel does not represent Jews. I have a problem with this fucking genocide. My great-grandfather survived three massacres. Our families, across so-called Australia, are survivors of an ongoing genocide,” the Aboriginal artist wrote.

And to continue: “My decision [d’arborer ce symbole] only involved me. The consequences, not to mention the repercussions on my career as an artist, only depend on the people in power. All my love to the children of Palestine. You may not agree but history will judge you and make you an asshole. »

Words written in… ancient alphabet

Bambie Thug, who represents Ireland, had carried out his rehearsals with body inscriptions in Ogham, an ancient alphabet. Discerning and educated eyes could decipher the words “ceasefire” and “freedom”. During the press conference following his qualification on Tuesday, the artist claimed that the EBU (European Broadcasting Union, the association of broadcasters which organizes the competition) had prohibited him from performing live with these entries.

Reason: this “contravenes the regulations intended to protect the apolitical nature of the event”. The non-binary artist, who has explicitly committed to the Palestinian cause in recent months, settled for the inscription “Crown The Witch”. Which they lamented, emphasizing that it was important for them, as a “pro-justice and pro-peace” person, to incorporate these scriptures into their stage look.

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