Tuesday, May 17

Few more comments on Azerbaijan's victory in Eurovision song contest

So for the last couple of days after I posted my entry on Azerbaijan's victory in Eurovision song contest a lot of feedback comments have been coming in and so I decided to write an additional entry regarding my original post.

Yes, it is true that Azerbaijan won the Eurovision song contest. Congratulations to Azerbaijan, its representers and all Eurovision song contest supporters around the world. And while for some countries Eurovision is not that big of a deal, for Azerbaijan its a matter of national importance. But at the end of the day, its just a song contest. 

Back to the point of being critical- some said that I shouldn't be so negative, and in fact appreciate the fact that Azerbaijan won. Well, let me explain. Azerbaijan won the Eurovision song contest- it has invested a lot, not only financially but also morally into this competition, and the fact that its won, shows how much effort was put into this. My point was that if Azerbaijan and those responsible for the contest manage to get Azerbaijan come first in some of the (though I still think the most unimportant) most popular competitions held every year- the Eurovision- why cannot it do the same thing regarding everything else that is wrong in this country- freedom of expression, freedom and security of journalists, overall security of its people, respect of human rights, equal rights, "0" corruption, better salaries, better liberties and much more...

And yes it is also true that by winning Eurovision song contest, many who have never heard of Azerbaijan before will now google (though according to some of Azerbaijan's officials, already 80 million hits were made on google in search of a key word Azerbaijan) Azerbaijan and start reading about Azerbaijan. And it is also true that as they search on the Internet about Azerbaijan they will not only be coming across of the Azerbaijan Azerbaijani government is striving to portray- equal, transparent, democratic, free- but they will also be coming across the Azerbaijan that it is in reality- unequal, corrupt, authoritarian, unfree. 

So perhaps, as Azerbaijan prepares to host 2012 Eurovision song contest, it should use this opportunity to show the world that Azerbaijan can not only win a song contest but that it can also set an example of true democracy and respect of its people and treat them with more than imposed fear and violent police...


12 comments:

Anonymous said...

If i were you i would really think if really Europe needs us to have "freedom of expression, freedom and security of journalists, overall security of its people, respect of human rights, equal rights, "0" corruption, better salaries, better liberties and much more...". Why they can't do that?? When it comes to Libya they can use military to bomb Gaddafi, but do you think they really can do nothing about Azerbaijan that has only 9kk people? They just dont need it..they want us to be weak and uneducated so they can exploit our natural resources and etc. Think about it...

Jackal said...

Outside of a dislike of pop music, you and your readers seem to be arguing but actually agreeing without knowing it.

Look, Azerbaijan won Eurovision and has the right to hold the contest in Baku next year. But this is not a guarantee. A Eurovision delegation will visit first for an evaluation and decide if Baky fits all criteria. They have already said security for all Armenian guests must be guaranteed. Visa regime wil be opened. Other reforms will be made so this contest will happen. Eurovision doesn't care about independent judges or free media. But it will worry about security, bad PR, and having a disaster as a show. So they will get something done. What motivation does Europe give Azerbaijan to reform? Why would Turkey or Russia help democratize Azerbaijan? They're making money from the Aliyev regime

I imagine Europe will be angry that a pop contest will accomplish more in a year than all their angry statements and press conferences have done in the last decade

Anonymous said...

If Azerbaijan began to really refrom as a result of this win, would you help the reform process, even though it would mean Aliyev getting the credit?

Vugar said...

Do you read Onnik krikorian's posts? He has a nice outlook on it. Optimistic realism

arzu geybulla said...

Anonymous (last comment)- as long as if Aliyev regime starts reforms from themselves

arzu geybulla said...

@Jackal- yes, we all are essentially saying the same thing but also the point of contention was that having Eurovision contest in Azerbaijan might in fact raise some of the pressing issues on international agenda, not just European organizations.

But you are right, no one cares about what is going on in Azerbaijan as they are feeding off the country.

And thanks for the comment, haven't seen you leaving comments in a while.

Jim said...

I have shared this post on my Facebk page, which is the best way I can think of to start spreading the word as to what kind of a place Azerbaijan is today.

arzu geybulla said...

Thank you Jim for sharing. I appreciate it.

Araz Zeynisoy said...

the only pro of eurovision ranking would be more attention worldwide to azerbaijan, at least for the world to spot it on the map. on the other hand, how much do you think eurovision audience has political awareness. i doubt it a lot. negative sides of this 'win' is much more. the worst thing is that aliyev clan will and indeed does use it as an advertisement for internal politics. and people do buy it a lot. it is a huge propaganda for the government. other craps that this eurovision song will bring are: superficial makeup for the main streets of baku to appeal visitors, probably new arena for the song contest; these all mean another way to corrupt petrodolars. all in all i pessimist about this win. however, activists in azerbaiajn or outside could turn this aliyev-clan show up-side down by attracting to the real issues in azerbaijan. film festivals, music, blog, we have a load of tools than ever. then it means it depends on youth to redirect the flow. greetings, araz

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Darab Raza said...

I heard that Azerbaijan won the Eurovision contest. I also heard that Azerbaijan hosted the contest. Was it rigged? It wouldn’t be a far off idea. Reform has still yet to come to the official government, but the private market is making sweeps. Jahangir Hajiyev, head of the Bank of Azerbaijan, is one of the few true capitalists who is making reform and investment part of his financial business strategy. True, it’s a bank, but Hajiyev is truly investing in projects that will grow Azerbaijan’s economy, improve trust and foreign investment, and ultimately make life better for the people of Azerbaijan.