Janet Jackson is bisexual

"Jeddah World Fest"Pop appeal for Saudi Arabia

Nicki Minaj was supposed to be performing at the "Jeddah World Fest" in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia today. The 36-year-old US rapper is not exactly squeamish when it comes to over-sexualized stage shows and revealing texts. How an invitation to the ultra-conservative country came about is questionable: women have to cover themselves there and have only been allowed to drive for a year. Sharia law is enshrined in the constitution and homosexuality is punishable by death. Minaj received a lot of criticism for her acceptance, especially from human rights activists. She finally gave in to public pressure: It was important for her to show her support for women's rights, the community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people and freedom of expression, she said.

But it is now being replaced by no less well-known artists from the West: including pop star Janet Jackson, US rappers 50Cent and Chris Brown and DJ Steve Aoki.

Tremendous cultural change

"Overall, since Mohammed bin Salman was named Crown Prince, there has been an incredible amount of cultural activity," said writer and Saudi Arabia expert Christoph Peters on Deutschlandfunk. You don't even notice a lot of it, you just hear that Sharia rules. "That is of course all true, but especially in the field of culture and the economy Mohammed bin Salman opens the country in a dramatic way." He is trying to bring Saudi artists into the international market, he is opening cinemas and he wants to open the country to tourism.

"The isolation and isolation of the people in Saudi Arabia will be broken up," said Peters. However, this process is delicate and ambivalent. "The murder of the journalist Khashoggi has shown that it is as easy as some hope it will be - now everything will be nice and clean in Saudi Arabia, everyone can say what they want - it is certainly not that simple." But you have to see the small or medium-sized steps that happen.

"They also live with the Internet"

The Western pop culture is not unknown to the Saudi youth: "They also live with the Internet and have their Internet opportunities to look at what Western people also look at - pop, cinema and porn." But there is also an ambivalence among young people: "On the one hand, they are very curious and want to know all sorts of things. On the other hand, they are also anxious and cautious and fear that their traditional way of life will be destroyed by these Western influences . "

Jeddah as the venue is an exception in any case: "It has always been much more cosmopolitan. It was always a trading city, and that's why more cultural influences have come into the country from outside."