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Gigi D’Agostino: How a pop song became the anthem of right-wing extremists

Gigi D’Agostino: How a pop song became the anthem of right-wing extremists

Gigi D’Agostino had a mega hit in the early 2000s with “L’amour Toujours”. The simple and catchy melody is still a catchy tune today. But in recent months, right-wing extremists have hijacked the song – and misused it for xenophobic slogans.

The song “L’amour Toujours” by Italian DJ Gigi D’Agostino is actually about great love. In 2001, he stormed the charts with the electronic ballad, and to date the single has sold more than 750,000 copies. The song has been viewed 450 million times on YouTube and almost 410 million times on Spotify. Today, just over 22 years after its release, the hit is a cult classic and triggers summer feelings like no other.

But now the actually harmless song has fallen into disrepute. It has become a trend on social networks to “rewrite” the chorus of the song. The melody, which has no lyrics in the original, is mostly sung by young people with the xenophobic slogan “Germany for the Germans, foreigners out”, a battle cry of the neo-Nazi scene in the 1980s. A video was recently made public showing guests in a bar on Sylt singing the xenophobic line, sometimes accompanied by the Hitler salute.

Gigi D’Agostino’s hit has become a symbol of the scene

The song’s second inglorious career probably began at a village festival in the municipality of Bergholz in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania last October, as the NDR reports. Several visitors were filmed shouting the same xenophobic slogan to D’Agostino’s song. The clip is part of a research project by the research collective “Katapult MV”. The video quickly spread on Tiktok and Instagram and caused a stir, especially because several witnesses said they had also seen the son of the municipality’s mayor singing along to the battle cry.

Since then, the xenophobic song has become a trend and a symbol of the right-wing and right-wing extremist scene – both with and without singing. The catchy melody can now be found in hundreds of videos that spread right-wing extremist propaganda or resentment.

This phenomenon is particularly common on Tiktok. There, relevant accounts regularly share videos of parties or festivals where visitors sing along to the slogan. Other clips show statistics on migrant crime taken out of context, accompanied by the original “L’amour Toujours” without slogans – a wink from the right-wing scene.

A youthful sin becomes the perfect propaganda tool

Forces of the New Right are now deliberately using the images that have emerged from the village festivals of the Republic and the catchy, xenophobic slogans to spread them across the board.

A few weeks ago, for example, the right-wing extremist and long-time head of the “Identitarian Movement”, Martin Sellner, announced in a video that he wanted to cross the German border, although there were rumors at the time that he was wanted in Germany. The Austrian presented himself in his usual casual manner and announced that he wanted to eat cake in a Passau pastry shop. “L’amour Toujours” was playing casually and seemingly by chance in the background, of course without the slogans sung on it.

In any case, people in the scene immediately understand what the song means. The slogan is burned into people’s minds along with the catchy dance hit of the early 2000s. And thus fits perfectly into the strategy of the New Right.

Presumably ironic breaking of taboos is part of the strategy of the New Right

Unlike the militant neo-Nazis of the 1980s and 1990s, the New Right pursues the tactic of casually anchoring its ideology in society. Karlheinz Weißmann, publicist and mastermind of the movement, stressed years ago that a revolution cannot be achieved with a “sledgehammer”. Since his analysis of the state of the conservatives in 1986 in the publication “Criticón”, he has coined the term “political mimicry”: the strategy of shifting the boundaries of what can be said to the right through publications, biased educational work and public relations work that at first glance appears to be inconspicuous.

Actors such as the Identitarian Movement see themselves as pioneers of a “patriotic revolution”. They are supposed to infiltrate the “pre-political space”, the middle of society – beyond parliaments and parties. Only when society has been sufficiently “worked on” and is thus ready for a force of the extreme right can a revolution succeed, so the assumption goes.

The abuse of Gigi D’Agostino’s hit is a gift for the New Right. It is an initially supposedly ironic and jokingBreaking a taboo. But once people have become accustomed to it, the “joke” will ultimately become nothing more than a contemptuous slogan – in the middle of society. Exactly where the New Right wants it.

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Source: Stern

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