The Eurovision Song Contest of 2014 ended with the winner pleading for tolerance and respect. In her press conference, Conchita Wurst said that her winning the contest
Her performance was certainly brave and her victory real. What’s more, in the face of the homophobic backlash that has also been going on in Europe (but do these people watch the Song Contest?) and a song that was less than catchy (I left the couch with Dana International’s ‘Diva’ stuck in my head rather than ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’, even though I had just heard the latter twice) the audiences and juries of Europe have decided to make a statement indeed.
But was it simply a statement of progress? Did we indeed ‘move on’? Could Conchita Wurst not have performed her song a hundred years ago?
Wurst’s image reminded me of a character in a novel I read a long time ago: Mathilde, in Ted van Lieshout‘s masterly Raafs Reizend Theater.
Mathilde earns her living as the Bearded Lady in a show. Precisely: a little bit like Conchita.