Skip to main content

Dana International and the politics of nostalgia


This paper focuses on the musical discourse of nostalgia evidenced in the songs of Dana International, an Israeli transsexual singer who took First Prize in the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest. It is organised around several songs featuring various compositional strategies, beginning with remakes of older songs and leading into new ones. Through quotation of music and/or lyrics, and the alteration and departure from the original, Dana premiers, transforms and renews songs in a way unique to her: she forces the audience to rethink what is natural and what is historically constructed, blurs distinctions between the sexes, past and present, the national and international, and draws on nostalgia as a powerful device to unsettle and question received truths. Her songs often mock and parody the masculinist, nationalist myths of mainstream Israeli culture, exposing the ideology of its artefacts. By promoting various types of blending, Dana challenges the notion of fixed borders. Despite the musical surface of popular song, which sounds international and without specific identity, the deep structures of these songs are in fact very much about complex questions of identity.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
  • URL: /core/journals/popular-music
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed