While tensions between Russia and Georgia have increased recently, two former Georgian Eurovision representatives have revealed that the message of their entries in the contest was purely anti-Russian, protesting against the war in South Ossetia-Abkhazia in 2008 resulted in the de facto independence of these two regions from the central government of Tbilisi.
A warrior for Georgia
With a lengthy post at Instagram, Nina Sublati, who represented Georgia in 2015 with her song, Warrior, refers to the message she wanted to spread with her participation in the contest, against Russia’s actions towards her country.
Δείτε αυτή τη δημοσίευση στο Instagram.
Almost four years ago, I decided to use the biggest platform ever to express what I feel towards occupation of my beautiful country Georgia. Back than the theme of the Eurovision was Building Bridges. And while writing Warrior I thought to myself – how can we, Georgians build bridges to connect with the rest of the world while our neighbour Russia burns them all. Not only they burn our bridges but they burn us alive. Everyone been telling me that this contest tends to be apolitical and that Warrior is not a song about rainbows and butterflies but I said I don’t give a fuck. And I won’t, while there’s a chaos and terror in my country I can not pretend. While our sisters and brothers are kidnapped and humiliated, while ashes are covering our skies I can’t see the rainbow to write about it. I remember one day I had a press conference, Russians were sitting next to me and I proudly called them occupiers and said I dedicated this beautiful song to them (even though they don’t deserve it). I said yes, this whole performance is political and it might make you feel little disturbed – it’s loud, it’s too dramatic, it’s out of context but still I’m gonna make the whole world see what’s really going on in Georgia, they gonna hear our voices and see us crying with our iron tears, they gonna see us in thunderstorm and they also gonna see us spreading our wings and fly freely while the whole concert hall applause for us. After four years I am still Georgian and more than 20% of my country is still occupied by Russia! I said No No No to the enemy four years ago, and today I’m saying it again – we are warriors and we’ve been in danger for too long to be happy for your politics! #beoximated #whateveritmeans p.s this post is not any kind of provocation and it’s not about any esc participant or ordinary Russians who have nothing to do with politics. Right now we have big thing going on in Georgia and everyone has right to express feelings and tell about experiences for people to know that we are peacefully fighting against whats been killing us for centuries ❤️
With anti-Russian content and this year’s Georgian participation
Before the contest Oto in his interviews he had stressed that his song was clearly a patriotic song, calling on the Georgians to stand up and resist, probably in Russia’s actions.
Why do Georgians protest?
Briefly, the South Ossetian War or Georgia War of 2008 was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on the one hand, and South Ossetia and Abkhazia, regions which have de facto proclaimed their independence from Georgia, and Russia which helped dynamically the two breakaway regions against Georgia, both military and diplomatic.
The conflict ended with the withdrawal of Georgian and Russian forces from the region and the recognition by Russia of the independence of the two regions. In fact, it is about 20% of Georgian soil, where the central government of Tbilisi has no power.
It is worth noting that both these regions have claimed their independence from Georgia since the 1980s. The Georgians in both regions are a national minority, accounting for about 1/5 of the total population of the two regions. Today only four countries recognize the independence of these two regions (Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru).
Apart from the above background, a speaker’s speech to the Georgian parliament in the Russian language once again dynamized the situation, putting people on the streets in new anti-Russian demonstrations. On the other hand, Russia banned commercial flights from its territory to Georgia, and issued a travel directive asking its citizens to avoid traveling to the country.
Who finally politicizes this contest?
Since 2009, Georgia has already wanted to transfer its dispute with Russia to the stage of the competition. In 2009, they preferred to withdraw from Eurovision which then was held in Moscow, because they did not want to change the title / verse of their entry, We Do not Wanna Put In, referred to by this pun, to the President of Russia, Putin.
In 2015 and 2019 as they admit, they sent two songs with clear political content, again wanting to take advantage of the millions of viewers in the Eurovision contest, trying to get their message across.
If one thinks that Ukraine in 2016 has sent a political song again against Russia, it is easy to see how many times one of the most basic EBU regulations has been violated for songs without political content referring to other countries, peoples, social and political groups, etc.
Whatever position you take in the facts that happen in the world, I think everyone is admitting that any conflicts and disagreements do not have a place in a contest like Eurovision, which was formed (since it was created) to unite Europe, even for those few hours of the live broadcasting.