Jamala is a 32-year-old Ukrainian singer from a Crimean Tatar family. Her song "1944" has been selected to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision song contest.
"When strangers are coming, they come to your house, they kill you all. And say, we're not guilty, not guilty," is the first sentence of the song, written by Jamala both in English and Crimean Tartar.
The song was inspired by the deportation of Jamala's great-grandmother, her five children and some 240,000 other Crimean Tatars in 1944. Jamala underlines that she decided to participate at Eurovision because of the song, as she wants to share the story with others.
Jamala spoke to Hromadske's Alexandra Azarkhina explaining her feelings about the song, and what it means for Ukrainians: “I hope that my personal story could help people understand what was behind the name – '1944'."
Jamala's song is being criticized as a political one, but the singer insists: “That is my personal story, of my grandmother. At the same time, it is a story about the tragedy of our all Crimean Tatars.” During the press conference earlier, Jamala talked about efforts to find “some 'hidden' ideas of the song, which doesn't exist at all”, still her soul is faithful to “music of struggle.”
Hromadske's Alexandra Azarkhina spoke to Jamala, a Ukrainian singer of Crimean Tatar descent in Kyiv on February 26th, 2016.