Rodanthi Tzanelli's Weblog

In this weblog I post updates on my teaching, research and publications, as well as other relevant academic activities.

Conchita’s Euro-vision: On ‘good art’, aesthetic standards and transphobia battles

The winner of the 2014 Eurovision competition, Conchita Wurst, was a surprise of a different order: not only had the Austrian singer been earmarked as an oddity in her own country, she had consciously fashioned herself as an activist artist. Her own press statement in the aftermath of the Eurovision results (‘Europe showed that we are a community of respect and tolerance’) hints at some radical revisions to Europe’s social contract, according to which recognition is not determined or impeded by biological fixities or social conventions but based on flexible definitions of individual needs and characteristics. This may be the first widely televised step against transphobia, but its implications need unpacking.