Bjork Speaks Out Over Festival Row

Icelandic singer BJORK has waded into the row over her canceled appearance at
a Serbian music festival – insisting she is a singer and “not a politician”.

The star was due to perform at Exit in Novi Sad in July (08), but organizers
canceled her appearance shortly after it was reported she had dedicated a
track, called Declare Independence, to the Balkan state of Kosovo at a recent
show in Tokyo, Japan.

Kosovo recently broke away from Serbian rule after years of turmoil in the
region, but Serbia has refused to acknowledge the state’s declaration of

Organizer Bojan Boscovic denied her comments regarding Kosovo were the reason
for the cancellation, but the outspoken singer’s management has since insisted
it had an email from festival chiefs, stating Bjork had been dropped from the
line-up as a result of her political views.

But now Bjork herself has attempted to diffuse the situation – urging people
to focus on her music and not her views of the world.

She says, “I would like to put importance on that I am not a politician, I am
first and last a musician and, as such, I feel my duty to try to express the
whole range of human emotions.

“The urge for declaring independence is just one of them but an important one
that we all feel at some times in our lives. This song was written more with
the personal in mind but the fact that it has translated to its broadest meaning, the struggle of a suppressed nation, gives me much pleasure.

“I would like to wish all individuals and nations good luck in their battle
for independence.”

The singer also upset Chinese officials on Sunday (02Mar08) when she chanted
“Tibet” during the performance of the song at the end of a show in Beijing,
China. Tibet is fighting for independence from mainland China.