Andre Hazes

I found today’s lecture on Andre Hazes really insightful. I think it contrasted well with the reading on Bartok’s funeral we had in week 7. It is interesting to consider the ways in which Hazes was treated with such an elaborate funeral, the expansive media coverage and the number of people that attended the funeral and gatherings associated with it. As Brigitte mentioned, many fans of Hazes and his music were of the working class. He was a definite celebrity, but also seen as very much as ‘one of the people’. This is, to me an important distinction between the treatments of the death of Hazes as a ‘national icon’ in Holland, and of Bartok’s re-burial in Hungary. The media circus that surrounded Hazes funeral and the number of people who laid flowers for him and dressed as he did is indicative of the large following he had in Holland and the rest of the world. In contrast to this, when we consider Bartok’s re-burial in Hungary, the move was not primarily driven by the people’s desire to have his body back in Hungary, but was orchestrated by the government and those in high social and political powers. Susan Gal argues the re-burial “is best understood as an attempt by intellectuals speaking in support of a morally and organisationally weak state to make claim for much needed credibility by symbolically aligning the state with the figure of Bartok.” It was the people high up who saw the bringing home of Bartok as a way in which they could unite the nation over a national icon, whilst also portraying themselves in a positive light. Political desires dominated the motives  behind the elaborate funeral procession for Bartok, while a more pure desire to remember and celebrate the life of Hazes and remember him as ‘one of the people’ was enough motivation for the people of Holland to want to have an elaborate funeral for Hazes.


~ by jackie213 on May 26, 2009.

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