Last month the EBU announced that Belarus would not take part in Eurovision 2021. Since then, the country’s people have been trying to find a way to maintain their song contest involvement and keep the spirit of Eurovision alive. Last week, the Belarusian Culture Solidarity Foundation wrote a letter to the EBU requesting that VAL — amongst other Belarusian artists — perform as guests in Rotterdam.
The EBU has since responded. Unfortunately, the Belarusian artists will not appear at Eurovision 2021.
Belarusian Culture Solidarity Foundation writes proposal to EBU
The proposal in question saw BCSF call on the EBU to allow VAL, Naviband and Margarita Levchuk and to perform Katrina and The Waves’ “Love Shine a Light” as part of an interval act at Eurovision 2021. Sergei Budkin, head of the foundation said:
“We suggested that Naviband and VAL, already well-known to the Eurovision family, perform together with opera singer Margarita Levchuk during one of the intervals”.
Ultimately, the EBU denied BCSF’s request. Soon after the foundation submitted their proposal, the EBU responded to say the show’s programme has already been fully approved, including the performances of the interval acts. However, the organisers reiterated they hope to see Belarus return to Eurovision in 2022, when “the situation in the country stabilises.”
The EBU again raised concerns about the current political climate in Belarus. They also said they would demand that BTRC comply with the EBU’s values and adhere to song contest rules, should they wish to return in 2022.
This request comes after “Da Vidna” duo VAL had their Eurovision dreams snatched away from them, following the cancellation of the 2020 contest. When the pair spoke out in support of the pro-democracy protests in Belarus, national broadcaster BTRC stated they would not be returning as the Belarusian representatives in 2021. “The VAL group have no conscience”, BTRC claimed.
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Belarus at Eurovision 2021
Belarus originally intended to compete at Eurovision 2021 with Galasy ZMesta singing “Ya nauchu tebya (I’ll teach you)”. However, the EBU later found the band’s song to be in breach of song contest rules, and requested BTRC submit a new entry. The EBU also deemed the group’s proposed new entry “Pesnyu pro zaytsa (Song about a bunny)” inappropriate, thus resulting in Belarus’ disqualification from Eurovision 2021.
It is suggested that both songs contain implicit political messaging, in support of the country’s authoritarian government. In 2020, pro-democracy protests erupted across the Eastern European nation following the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko — whose victory has been disputed by the international leaders on grounds of election fraud.