Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra releases videoclip for “Stefania”

The Eurovision 2022 winner band, Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine, has released the videoclip of their winning song “Stefania” this morning.

After their victory early this morning, the new Eurovision champions have released their videoclip. Until then, the official video used by the Eurovision Youtube channel was the National Final Vidbir performance.

A video filmed in the ruins of the war

The clip was filmed in and around Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, in Hostomel, Bucha, Irpin and Borodyanka. The credits also mention a specific production team for Lviv, the largest city before the Polish border.

While the clip makes use of expected war imagery, it does not show any conflict. It focuses instead on the impact of warfare on civilians. Cameras and drones film buildings in ruins and desolated streets for most of the videoclip, with sequences alternating between showing Kalush Orchestra and showing a soldier helping children. In the final minute, the clip depicts the reunion between children and parents in a refuge and in a train station.

As Kalush Orchestra explain in their description of the videoclip, the song was originally an heartfelt anthem to mothers, and nothing more. The lyrics are translated in English subtitles in the video, a reminder of their “objective” meaning. However, the current situation in Ukraine has changed the interpretation of the song.

I once dedicated this song to my mother, and when the war broke out, the song took on a lot of new meanings.

Although there is not a word about the war in the song, many people began to associate the song with mother Ukraine.

Moreover, society began to call it the anthem of our war!

But if Stefania is now the anthem of our war, I would like it to become the anthem of our victory.

Kalush Orchestra

Finally, the videoclip also gave the champions the opportunity to tease at more songs coming soon, as they promise “lots of beautiful Ukrainian music” in a pinned comment.

A third victory for Ukraine

Kalush Orchestra gave Ukraine its third victory in the Eurovision Song Contest, after 2004 and 2016. They were not the original act chosen for this year’s competition, but were offered the position after Alina Pash’s withdrawal. Since the beginning of the war, Ukraine had become the bookmakers’ favorite for victory, and they snatched it yesterday with a comfortable lead thanks to a massive televote support.

The question now remains wether UA:PBC will be able to host the 2023 contest. The imagery used in the videoclip is a reminder of the many doubts about that possibility. Yet, for now, Ukraine seems very much willing to keep their hosting rights.

What do you think of the videoclip? What was your reaction to the results after the Grand Final? Do you think Ukraine will host the contest next year, and if not, where should it be? Tell us in the comments below and on social media, at @escxtra !

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