Friday, May 23, 2008
Eurovision - The Abkhazia Connection
Georgia has made it to the finals of the Eurovision song contest this weekend. Its entry is a piece of turbo-pop sentimentalism, ‘Peace Will Come’, sung by Diana Gurtskaya, a blind refugee from the separatist war in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia who now lives in Moscow. She says the song was inspired by her persional experience of armed conflict. Gurtskaya has been awarded medals for her cultural endeavours by both Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili – two men who usually don’t even agree to disagree. In recent months, she also made an appearance at one of Saakashvili’s political rallies, standing beside Misha as he made his speech (see picture). Strangely, last year she almost represented Belarus at Eurovision, after reaching the final of the national contest there. She says that God decided she would represent Georgia this year instead.