Q: What do the Eurovision Song Contest, the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have in common?
A: Blurred ‘continental’ boundaries
The Eurovision Song Contest takes place this Saturday night in host country Azerbaijan, which is also home to the subject of Platform’s upcoming book release The Oil Road – the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Join us on Resonance 104.4 FM tomorrow (Thursday) 8pm, as Platform gets together to discuss the stories in the book and sample the Eurovision entries from each of the countries the pipeline travels through
The Oil Road takes the reader on a journey along the pipeline meeting campaigners and community organisers who have challenged the project, to the offices in London of the oil companies and banks who built it. In the radio show tomorrow night Platform members will link up between London, Cairo and Moscow as Mel Evans interviews Mika Minio-Paluello, co-author, and Anna Galkina, who did additional research for the book. Mika and Anna will reflect on the impacts of BTC as well as comparisons to their respective current research on BP in Egypt and oil extraction in the Russian arctic.
Azerbaijain’s role as host in this year’s contest has drawn attention to the position of political activists in the country. In the first semi-final last night, Nina Zilli representing Italy (which is also the main port for the BTC oil on its route to refineries in Germany) commented on wealth distribution in host country Azerbaijan in an interview with Scott Mills for BBC (at 1h 43m 54secs in).
The show will also sample the popular Russian entry into Eurovision, ‘Party for Everybody’, to raise questions around the blurring of Europe’s boundaries by both Eurovision and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, while the actual borders of ‘Fortress Europe’ are tightened year on year. Although Europe is often taught as the 7th continent despite under-qualifying as a ‘land mass surrounded by water’, Eurovision entries from as far afield as Israel/Palestine, EBRD funding in Egypt, and the BTC pipeline’s movement of oil from the Caspian sea to western European markets, all blur the boundaries of the economic unit of Europe.