In the wake of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the Eurovision Song Contest was more political than it had been for a long time. Also as a sign of solidarity, the Ukrainian Kalush Orchestra with its hip-hop piece “Stefania” was voted the winner on Saturday evening by the votes of the audience across Europe.
On Sunday morning, the band then released a new video of their contribution, which already makes a direct visual reference to the Ukraine war – according to the band, the footage for the background of the story comes from current theaters of war in Irpin, Bucha and other places, “which are among the suffered the horrors of the Russian occupation”. The message of the video is also clearly political.
“The film is based on true events during the 2022 Russian aggression in Ukraine,” writes the band. It is dedicated to the courageous people of Ukraine, to the mothers who protected their children and to all those who gave their lives for freedom.
“The war in Ukraine has many faces, but it is our mother’s face that keeps our hearts alive in the darkest of times,” the musicians write.
“I once dedicated the song to my mother, but when the war broke out, it took on many other meanings,” writes singer Oleg Psjuk as an introduction to the video, which mainly features female soldiers – played by actresses – children bring to safety.
“Although the song does not mention the war, many people have associated it with the meaning of ‘Mother Ukraine.’ It was even declared the anthem of our war,” writes Psjuk.
“But if ‘Stefania’ is now the anthem of our war, I want the song to become the anthem of our victory,” the musician wishes.
Even after their performance at the ESC, Kalush Orchestra had called on the world community for support. Psyuk said on stage: “I ask all of you: Please help Ukraine, Mariupol, help Azovstal – right now!”.
The ESC rules clearly prohibit “texts, speeches and gestures of a political nature” on stage. In the case of Kalush Orchestra, however, the organizers showed leniency. “We understand the strong feelings when it comes to Ukraine these days and consider the statements made by the Kalush Orchestra and other artists in support of the Ukrainian people more as a humanitarian gesture than as political,” a spokesman for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) told dpa .