Thursday, February 23, 2012
Gaïtana: A Black Ukrainian at Eurovision 2012 Stirs Racism Row
Last week Gaïtana was selected to represent Ukraine at this year’s Eurovision Song Festival. Gaïtana is born in Kiev, Ukraine, but lived the first five years of her life in Congo. Her father is from Congo, her mother is Ukrainian.
The Eurovision Song Festival is a major event in Eastern European countries, much more so than in Western European countries.
Juri Sirotjuk, a nationalistic politician from the Freedom Party (Svoboda), protested against the fact that a black singer would represent his country at the Song Contest. He stated that “Millions of viewers will see that Ukraine is represented by someone who doesn’t belong to our race, and they will think that Ukraine is somewhere in Africa.”
The Ukrainian political establishment condemned this statement. The Ukrainian boxing champion Vital Klitschko said that Sirotjuk’s statement is “a regrettable expression of xenophobia which doesn’t fit Ukraine’s European aspirations”. Ukraine’s public broadcast demands Sirotjuk to apologize.
Check below her 2010 video, some Ukrainian R&B/pop song:
Update: Gaïtana finished 15th place.