Tag Archives: Eurovision Song Contest

Arrests leave Eurovision a bitter taste

Last week during the Eurovision Song Contest Azerbaijan showed to the world its glamorous folklore and modernity, just as Cirttan predicted. The ultramodern Crystal Hall in Baku hosted 26 countries and an audience of 25,000 people. No less than 45,000 lights colored the flags of the different countries.

Continue reading Arrests leave Eurovision a bitter taste

Azerbaijani musician arrested for insulting

Last Saturday (March 17) a demonstration was held in the suburbs of Baku. The protesters were represented by the youth organizations of the opposition (Azeri Report). The musician Jamal Ali was arrested for having insulted President Ilham Aliyev’s late mother at the demonstration. Insulting the “King clan” can be extremely dangerous according to his friend and singer-songwriter Cirttan. With the coming Eurovision Song Contest coming to Azerbaijan, it seems particularly sour that singer-songwriters are put behind bars.

Continue reading Azerbaijani musician arrested for insulting

“Please, boycott the Eurovision Song Contest” – Interview with Cirttan

Amsterdam – Last year Ell and Nikki from Azerbaijan won the Eurovision Song Contest with their love song Running Scared. Following Eurovision tradition, that the winner gets to host the following festival, this year’s contest will be held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. According to activist and singer-songwriter Cirttan (Azer Mamedov) who is truly running scared and had to flee to the Netherlands for safety reasons, it will have a strong effect on the Azerbaijani authorities if the European countries would boycott this musical event. He says that for sure Azerbaijan will be a very good host. It will want to show the world all of its modernity and prosperity. What we won’t get to see, according to Cirttan, are the poor conditions of the Azerbaijani people. Corruption is a way of life and the people are afraid to stand up for themselves. On Music Freedom Day (March 3, 2012), globally organised by Freemuse, Cirttan played some of his songs at the Soeterijn Café in Amsterdam. On the eve of this event we had a conversation about his hopes and fears for Azerbaijan and his role as an activist.

Continue reading “Please, boycott the Eurovision Song Contest” – Interview with Cirttan