Vinnaren av Eurovision Song Contest 2014, Conchita Wurst, med segerpokalen. Foto: Albin Olsson
The winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2014, Conchita Wurst. Photo: Albin Olsson / Wikimedia Commons

The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the ESC is still shining after more than half a century and even now seems relevant for its audiences. In the ESC, queer interaction and togetherness are based on a combination of kitsch and camp, an aesthetic style and sensibility that aficionados regard as appealing because of its ironic, overthe-top challenging of the norms of ‘good behavior’ and ‘good taste.’

Nonetheless, it may seem strange that the ESC, a post-war European peace utopia and mainstream music event, is identified to such a degree as queer today, and the question remains whether the ESC can be of interest to dykes and feminists.

Tiina Rosenberg. Photo: Eva Dalin
Tiina Rosenberg. Photo: Eva Dalin

This essay by Tiina Rosenberg, therefore, revisits the notions of kitsch and camp as queer communication strategies. It closes with a reflection on the contest’s arbitrary notions of Europe, its troubled geopolitics, and its radically extroverted playing with taste taboos as pleasurable entertainment.

Lambda nordica is a peer-reviewed open-access academic journal of LGBTQ studies.

Read the article at Lamda nordica's webpage

Tiina Rosenberg's research