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Popular Music, Populism and Nationalism in Contemporary Europe

Referent/in: Maximilian Kreter
07/04/2022 - 17:30 Hour
Online via Zoom

Description of the event

Maximilian Kreter hält im Rahmen der Tagung "Popular Music, Populism and Nationalism in Contemporary Europe" den Vortrag "Conspiracy beliefs and hate speech in Germanophone Far Right Music: Ideological and musical productivity during the Covid-19 pandemic".


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought public life, political movements – apart from the so- called “Querdenken“ movement – and the (live) music industry almost to a complete standstill. In contrast to the previous major crises of the last 15 years, (f.e. “refugee crisis“ & the “euro crisis“) the restrictions in the “corona crisis“ affect(ed) almost everybody; this triggers the search for scapegoats. In times of crisis, conspiracy-believing explanations offered by radical and extremist movements – which are an integral part of the corresponding ideologies – spread faster than in “normal times“. They supposedly offer patterns of explanation and immediate possibilities of reaction and action to these crises. Thereby they always include a bridge to the respective ideological reference spectra on the left-right dimension, in which many citizens can indicate their own political position safely. This paper focuses on the crisis narratives of those bands and musicians of the center right – who often label themselves as “apolitical“ - and of the extreme right, which are based on a conspiracy beliefs.1 For this purpose, the culturally and politically instrumentalizable medium music was chosen – with two current examples: White Power Music2 and the “grey zone“ 3 . Taking the bands “Zillertaler Virenjäger“ 4 and “Frei.Wild“ as examples, the structure and functioning of the spreading of conspiracy beliefs with particular references to the Covid-19 pandemic will be explained. Subsequently, the connecting elements that form the bridge to the ideology of right-wing extremism, the accompanying conspiracy narratives and hate speech will be made visible. Finally, the connecting conspiracy narratives - such as the “Zionistic Occupied Government“ (ZOG) in particular - and their constant transformations from the “euro crisis“ to the “refugee crisis“ to the “corona crisis“ will be (re)traced within the ideology.

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