Bruno Cooke

Cats, pigeons, and a history of protest: Why we need to politicise Eurovision, the Olympics, and mass shootings

Displaying the Palestinian flag during the recap of the acts, Iceland’s Hatari ruffled more than a few feathers. Indeed, it prompted swathes of online commentators to demand that Eurovision remain apolitical. Should that be so — is it best — is it even possible?

The world’s eyes were diverted to a single issue, in a second. This “human rights” salute brought the fact of racism and public lynchings to light for everyone, not just those in political circles. And think, more recently, of Kaepernick’s “unpatriotic” act, in 2016, of kneeling during the national anthem, which sparked a series of supportive actions. Acts like this, of silent protest, by players of international fame, give voice to the voiceless by deflecting the audience’s attention. It refocuses the public lens, and in doing so peacefully ruffles high feathers. Shockwaves throughout America.

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