Sanremo 2024, when is an artist really “political”?

There are two facts. Firstly, that the Sanremo Festival is such a big and important and noticed stage, or rather, it is the only one that is so big and important and noticed that everything that happens there, even the most insignificant, is with everyone's eyes on it enters into a species Butterfly effect and it is already coming to us, if not distorted, then at least huge, loud, scandalous. And secondly, we are no longer used to finding traces of politics in music, given the onslaught of the grand old men (today much more reserved about ideological positions than in the past, they were less interested in the newspaper headlines, but also in the parties have lost their attractiveness where there was previously a queue) and the game of hide-and-seek, if not the disinterest of the newcomers. And when it happens, they immediately surprise us: what kind of politics is this in a song? What then: When does an artist say something political and not just common sense?

Yesterday's matter is symptomatic. Dargen D'Amico with High wave He is one of the few who has written an article on, let's say, a social issue, namely the drama of migrants in the Mediterranean. On the first evening, as you know, after singing, he appealed to cease fire “on the children” of Gaza, and this phrase, as he said, came back to him like a boomerang: everywhere he read the definition “political” ( like: Dargen gave a political speech) and he didn't like it, so he explained to us that he wasn't interested in “politics” but that it was just a matter of “humanity” (big word). Now: Having established that reality is more complex than a slogan and in any case it can be said that the children who are bombed are nevertheless innocent, it could really be a question of humanity, it is this withdrawal, to say the least. Not for him, it's about not wanting to live on controversy and not getting labels that are unique. The problem is more with the terms themselves, which symbolize that the word “politics” associated with music is directly evil. But that's not it.

And not just because memes had apparently now appeared on social media showing major political leaders of the right and left of history giving their speeches and making it clear that they had said “nothing political” – in short: the obvious. But because (a very old expression) everything is really political, even the social, even the human. Even speaking out against world hunger is political in its own way. And as far as songs and Sanremo are concerned, you can also talk about your personal integration problems, like Mahmood in Gold suit, it's politics. BigMama’s LGBTQ+ message – “I dedicate my post to the queer community.” “Love each other freely, you can do it” – is also becoming political these days. Only the paths change. Speaking out about a real problem is politics. Breathing is a political choice in one way or another. Imagine doing it now, when there are political forces that downplay the scenes from Gaza and do not describe themselves as anti-fascist. The problem is saying it today, the problem is that we make enemies because ok, because we have forgotten that art is one thing, rallies are another. They really have two different functions.

Just think – another exception to the festival – of Ghali, who in my home He took a swipe at what is still happening in Gaza (but again in generic tones, so the expression could extend to hundreds of other wars in the past and in the future) and was accused by the head of the Gaza Strip's Jewish community in Milan accuses “unacceptable anti-Israel propaganda”. Propaganda, a song from Sanremo. But what does he get out of it? What then, again, you know how it is: by now there will also be those who think that Dargen D'Amico has taken a position to get people to talk about himself as an ass while Over there, perhaps rightly so, the artists who do this remain silent, are beaten. So the dissatisfaction between politics and music certainly depends on historical factors and artistic coincidences, but it is a vicious circle: we should decide what we want from musicians, because if someone needs to expose themselves as soon as they need to expose themselves, it is him also forced to raise his hands, maybe something is wrong. And he definitely doesn't want to do it anymore.

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