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Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel

(Jagiellonian University, Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Kraków, Poland)

When a singer goes to war with a smartphone in his hand


The paper focuses on two artists who during wartime spontaneously appeared in converged media space with their performances of popular songs soon becoming both stars and heroes with at least national recognition. Khudayar Yusifzade thanks to his a cappella performance of the song Motherland is the best, became a war hero and the song is now an anthem of the Azerbaijanis fighting in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh war. First, the song was recorded with a smartphone, during informal soldiers' moments of relaxation. Then there were performances by professional artists, albums, mainstream media, and finally, this mini-show became a part of a contemporary art exhibition. Andrij Khlyvnyuk, frontman of the Ukrainian band BoomBox, recorded with a smartphone his a cappella performance of Red kalyna, a popular, Ukrainian, patriotic song. The performance inspired other musicians, including Pink Floyd, and became a globally recognized tune uniting almost the whole world around the Ukrainian tragedy.

Short biography

Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel, PhD is an associate professor at the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Jagiellonian University. Her scholarly interests focus on the history and reception of American popular culture in Poland. She is an author of books and articles on American culture, American cultural transfer, film and mass media.