Cartography Catastrophe – Continued

Following the outcry in Israel after the Eurovision Song Contest‘s 2nd semifinal, in which Israel was the only country whose map was not shown prior to its song, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted the Norwegian hosts of this year’s contest to convey their message. During tonight’s final the Israeli map was indeed shown – albeit missing the west bank. Sources in the MFA told Ynet that they insisted Israel “will be shown as a country with borders, and not some amorphous entity”.

Graphics shown in the ESC’s 2nd semifinal::
ESC 2010 - 2nd semifinal - Israel
Graphics shown in the ESC’s final::
ESC 2010 - Final - Israel

I realize that all this might seem like some kind of a bizarre Rorschach inkblot test, making too much out of a graphical element, but I think flags, anthems and maps are important symbols of independence, and it seems every now and again someone figures Israel is fair game.

Cartography Catastrophe

Did you watch the European Song Contest‘s 2nd semifinal last night? Did you notice it? It came and went really fast, but did you manage to notice how Israel was wiped off the map?

Before each live performance a short video clip about the participating country was shown, but right before that video some on-screen graphics created the map of each country. Yes, each country but one: Israel.
Right before Harel Skaat took to the stage, the same yellow graphics that filled the screen for each other country, that graphics was now squished to the side and quickly disappeared.

Did the 62 years old Jewish nation get the shaft? Did The Jew Among Nations got the regular treatment? Serbia, a country that got its independence less than 4 years ago got similar treatment in the 1st semifinal; Does that fact make it better or worse?

Here’s the video (Don’t blink during the first few seconds):

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqmjDtTAz24

Screen captures for each participating county after the jump:
Continue reading Cartography Catastrophe

What Killed The Eurovision Song Contest?

Back in 1999 the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest were changed, turning the popular musical contest into the joke that it is today. I expect you all to memorize these two rules that de-facto killed the ESC:
– The abolishment of the requirement of the host broadcaster to provide a live orchestra.
– The abolishment of the requirement that contestants sing in their own national language.

Now take a stroll down memory lane back to Sweden in 1985 where Izhar Cohen took 5th place with “Ole, Ole“. Apart from the brilliant colors and the joie de vivre, note Cohen yelling right before taking the stage, and a shrieking female backup singer.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDcwZ7h72ps

When I Cry, I Cry for Both of Us – Israeli Politics and the Eurovision

Everything you do or say in Israel can be construed as political, from the paper you read to the lunch you eat. It’s no wonder, then, that so many songs sent to represent Israel at the Eurovision song contest over the years have raised quite a bit of ruckus on the way. Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane:
In 1974, just after the Yom Kippur war, Israeli band Kaveret sang at Brighton, UK, “There’s enough air for a country or two”. In 1983, a decade after the Olympics massacre and half a century after WWII, singer Ofra Haza, in front of a German audience in Munich, sang “I am still alive”. In 1991 at Rome, Italy, a singing Duo Datz wished whoever comes ‘Ahalan’ in Arabic, but stated they were born ‘here’ and so were their children. At the 2000 contest in Stockholm, Sweden, things got so hectic that the band Ping-Pong were disavowed by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority after insisting on waving an Israeli and a Syrian flag (and some cucumbers). In 2007 at Helsinki, Finland, Israeli band Teapacks warned the world that you-know-who is “gonna push the button”.

Held this week in Moscow, Russia, the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest will include another political song from Israel, but one that is quite sober and realistic. Sung by “an Arab girl who looks Jewish and a Jewish girl who looks Arab” this song might not win Europe over, but I believe singers and songwriters Noa and Mira Awad will make many Israelis proud by their simple statement in English, Hebrew and Arabic: There must be another way:


There Must Be Another Way – Noa & Mira Awad – Lyrics

 
English:
 
 
Hebrew:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
English:
 
 
Arabic:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
English:
 
 
 
 
Hebrew:
 
 
Arabic:
 
 
English:
 
 
 
 
 
Hebrew:
 
 
 
 
English:
 
 
 
English Translation:
There must be another
Must be another way
 
Your eyes, sister
Say everything my heart wants to say
We’ve come a great distance
Our road has been long and hard
Hand in hand
 
And the tears fall, flow, in vain
Our pain has no name
We are both waiting
For the day ‘after’
 
There must be another way
There must be another way
 
Your eyes say
One day, the fear will be gone
In your eyes there is determination
That we can continue
Our journey
For as long as it takes
 
For there is no address to sorrow
I cry to the open plains
To the merciless sky
 
There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way
 
A long and hard journey
Lies before us
Together, on our way to the light
Your eyes say
All the fear will someday disappear
 
And when I cry I cry for both of us
My pain has no name
And when I cry I cry
To the merciless sky and say
There must be another way
 
And the tears fall, flow, in vain
Our pain has no name
We are both waiting
For the day ‘after’
 
There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way
Phonetic:
 
 
 
Eina’ih, ahot
Kol ma shelibi mevakesh omrot
Avarnu ad ko
Dereh aruka, dereh ko kasha
Yad beyad
 
Vehadma’ot zolgot, zormot lashav
Ke’ev lelo shem
Anahnu mehakot
Rak layom sheyavo ahrei
 
 
 
 
Aynaki bit’ul
Rah yiji yom wu’kul ilkhof yizul
B’aynaki israr
Inhu ana khayar
N’kamel halmasar
Mahma tal
 
Li’anhu ma fi anwan wakhid l’alahzan
B’nadi lalmada
L’sama al’anida
 
 
 
 
 
 
Derech aruka na’avor
Derech ko kasha
Yachad el ha’or
Aynaki bit’ul
Kul ilkhof yizul
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vehadma’ot zolgot, zormot lashav
Ke’ev lelo shem
Anahnu mehakot
Rak layom sheyavo ahrei
 
 
 
 

Update:
May 12, 2009 – Israel qualified for the final contest. Russian host Andrey Malakhov: “The most political-correct [sic] song goes to the final! Congrats Israel”.
May 17, 2009 – As expected, Europe did not fall in love and with 53 points Israel has finished in 16th place.

Eurovision Blonde Contest 2008

Watching the Eurovision Song Contest last night, I could not help notice that while each country had a different representative delivering its votes, somehow the female representatives showed similar characteristics. I am a firm believer in the law of large numbers and thus think a large sample size can sometimes reveal significant issues. As an artist I use mosaics from time to time to express various opinions, and so after composing this new work I think we can agree Europe still thinks women are nothing more than eye candy:

[singlepic id=73 w=450 h=540 float=center]
For higher resolution, press F11 and then click the image

 

Following is a legend with the name of each country corresponding to each photo’s location:

United Kingdom Ukraine Estonia Bosnia & Herzegovina Belgium
Latvia Bulgaria Serbia Israel Cyprus
Iceland Romania Portugal Hungary Armenia
Czech Republic Spain The Netherlands Turkey Malta
Ireland Switzerland Azerbaijan Croatia Belarus
Russia Montenegro Georgia Denmark

 

 

* Out of a total of 43 representatives, 14 males were excluded.
Insignificant minor retouching was done on some of the photos.
The Turkish representative’s shirt was heavily retouched to remove some superimposed graphics