Building New Bridges, Repairing Old Ones

The EBU just released the new motto for next year’s contest, “Building Bridges.”

And sure, obviously there are the actual bridges (1716 in Vienna, to be exact), but there is more than just those. Considering that I had just finished watching “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” before checking the official Eurovision website for news, my mind went back to the movie and the first song, “Tear Me Down,” when the main character sings that there “ain’t much of a difference between a bridge and a wall.” And it’s pretty much true: They stand between two different things. However, the main difference would be that it’s much easier to stand in the middle of the divide if you are on a bridge instead of on a wall.

In a way, Austria and this year’s winner Conchita Wurst already are two bridges: one between eastern and western Europe, and one between male and female. (And I didn’t have to quote more from Tear Me Down!) But they’re building more bridges and fixing some of the bridges that the Marcel Bezencon and the EBU tried to build in the 1950’s when coming up with the contest: music, relationships (between people and states alike).

Maybe ESC is never going to get Europe to its 2013 motto of “We are One.” However, it could get closer and closer to the original goal: To bring the countries from fighting each other in World War II with weapons, to fighting with song, and eventually to coming together as a festival and not a competition.

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