Jingo Karaoke is an intervention and performance in public space.
“We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do …We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too!”
(Macdermott’s War Song lyrics)
It was 1878 when in the United States Edison patented the phonograph that later was developed into gramophone and remained the most common device for playing recorded sound until the 1980s. In the same year across the ocean the music-hall singer G. H. Macdermott (aka “the Great Macdermott”) introduced in London Pavilion his War Song.
This is one of the very first examples of combining propaganda and popular music. Macdermott was commissioned to make the song with the aim to influence the public opinion in Britain in the middle of the political crisis between the British Empire and Russia, after the surrender of Plevna during the Russo-Turkish War, by which the road to Constantinople was open. The crisis ended with a diplomatic triumph of Britain’s Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli at Berlin Congress and after the song a politician from the oppositionist Laborist Party invented the term jingoism that now is used for describing ‘extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy.
It is amazing how political life changed forever since audiovisual mass media and propaganda charged popular culture were invented and eventually became an intrinsic part of the public life.
To remind for all these events Petko Dourmana will setup a temporary Jingo Karaoke Pavilion at public spaces in Istanbul (former Constantinople) with a karaoke set that uses a toy Edison-style cup phonograph. In the military tent everybody who want to sing Macdermott’s war song Jingo is invited.
In the plastic cups used as recording media visitors will earn a free beer after singing.