Leather-clad electro demons, Hatari, made their way to Tel Aviv last Friday to compete in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest amidst loyal domestic support and international controversy.
See also: Artist Spotlight: Hatari
Hatari’s chosen track, ‘Hatrið Mun Sigra’ (Hate will prevail), is a stomping, shrieking anthem that already has become one of Iceland’s most iconic and recognisable pieces of music.
As reported by the Reykjavik Grapevine, Hatari was seen at Keflavik International Airport Friday morning in a group of 19 people total. They first travelled to London, before flying on to Tel Aviv later in the afternoon.
Hatari promotes an anti-capitalist philosophy, somewhat at odds with the Eurovision Song Contest which, typically, showcases commercial pop songs. Given their indication that will make a statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people, some institutions have called for their removal including the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and UK Lawyers for Israel.
See also: Music in Iceland
Both parties indicate that Hatari’s inclusion in Eurovision flies in the face of the competition’s rules which state there should no political acts. It should be said, however, that there are countless examples of political acts who have performed at Eurovision previously.
To further complicate matters, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has also stated that do not want Hatari to perform, citing that participating at all is a better demonstration of solidarity.
Iceland causing controversy at Eurovision is nothing new. For instance, previous Icelandic competitors include Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson, who made ripples with his erotically charged performance of “Minn hinsti dans” (“My Final Dance”) in 1997.
Another example is Sylvia Knight, a comedian whose song “Congratulations” insinuated a premature win for Iceland in 2006. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this pseudo-confidence scored a meagre 62 points from her fans in the semi-final.
Hatari will perform at Eurovision on May 14th.
What are your opinions on Hatari as Iceland’s Eurovision contestant? Which other Icelandic artists do you like and follow? Make sure to leave your thoughts and queries in the Facebook comments box below.