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Five Video Clips from Europe

Was ist Europa? Mitä on Eurooppa? Cos’è l’Europa? L’Europe c’est quoi? What is Europe? This is a good and confusing question. I actually have no idea anymore, so I started digging into popular music videos and of course, where to start from if not from the capital of the European Union (which is actually only a small portion of Europe-as-a-continent)? That must be Bruxelles (but wait isn’t it Strasbourg the capital?), anyway here we go.

Artist: Stromae [1]
Track: Formidable (Ceci n’est pas une leçon)

This song has been everywhere in French-speaking Europe. Whenever I heard it in a public place, I saw people smiling because the drunken mumblings turned into lyrics are so witty. The video plays entirely on the Louise/Louiza bus stop and square in Bruxelles. It shows Stromae himself wandering around drunk during the day, as captured by hidden cameras.

Artist: I Cani [2]
Track: Hipsteria

Europe is also well, history, as we know. This long long history that we had the whole world to learn, willingly or not; it starts with the Romans, the ones which first brought Europe together in a huge empire, before the barbarians destroyed it all. This is Rome itself, in all its Hipstamatic splendour, in the video of I Cani.

Artist: Die Goldenen Zitronen [3]

Die Goldenen Zitronen might be the most intelligent band in Europe, their music is politics and their politics is music. They tackle the drama of immigration (check their «Wenn ich ein Turnschuh wär» [4]), racism, gentrification and other very European problems. In this one, they tackle, well, yes, you could have guessed what exactly is «Europa».

Artist: Olimpia Splendid [5]
Track: Jukka-Pekka

Europe also means boredom, repetition, small shops, special offers and low wages and all the frustration connected to that, maybe enhanced by consuming too much sugary fizzy drinks, as these three Finnish girls seem to convey here.

Artist: Sleaford Mods [6]
Track: Tied Up In Nottz

Or is Europe just the view from a double-decker bus on the desolate centre full of chain shops, freaks, lost tourists and where The smell of piss is so strong / It smells like decent bacon? That might be it.