Saturday, 30 January 2010

St Sarkis and Bakhos, and more... Happy St Sarkis Day, Armenians!! He loves you x

Although Armenian youth increasingly started marking St Valentine's Day on 14 Feb too, today many celebrate its Armenian equivalent - St Sarkis Day.

Whether you are straight or gay, whatever you sexual orientation and gender identity, this is your day too. Have a very happy one with your loved ones, or find the one, if you wish too.


x mika

For more, see Unzipped: Gay Armenia

*picture - via Gay Spirituality blog

Thursday, 28 January 2010

British artist to face jail for mocking Turkey’s PM

I do not agree with those who claim that president or PM, or whoever it is up there, are symbols of the country and should be respected etc etc. In past, such opinions were expressed in Armenian blogosphere here and there. I do not buy such arguments. First, some may be against the institution of e.g. presidency for whatever reason, and it’s their right to do so. Then, artists or ordinary citizen should be able to mock those in power, regardless of their position. I may like it or not, I may agree with them or not, but it’s their right, and if you are in politics, you should expect this, and rather than putting yourself in a ridiculous position of suing for such expressions, you’d rather laugh at or ignore.

Here is a story from Turkey of a British artist who mocked Turkey’s PM portraying Erdogan as the US pet.

*extract from the BBC, below:

Artist fined for art mocking Turkey's prime minister

Michael Dickinson's Good Boy

An English artist has been convicted of mocking Turkey's prime minister by portraying him as a dog in an artwork.
Michael Dickinson, 59, originally from County Durham, now faces jail after refusing to pay a fine imposed by a judge in Istanbul.
"Good Boy" showed Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a dog with a US flag as his lead.
Mr Dickinson said he would not pay the fine as he did not regard what he had done as a crime. Proceedings were adjourned until 9 March.


Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Armenia gets yet another political prisoner on the 3rd anniversary of Hrant Dink murder in Turkey

I am sure, many will consider these comparisons ‘sacrilegious’. You know what? I do not care. You, ‘many’, were blaming Hrant Dink - when he was alive - for his (reconciliatory) stand to Armenia-Turkey relations. Now he became a ‘hero’ for you. For me, he was always a one - a true hero.

Nikol Pashinyan was never a hero for me. However, what has happened to him (and not only) is an evidence of ongoing violations of human rights in Armenia.

It’s very telling, that on the anniversary of Hrant Dink murder in Turkey, we’ve heard the court ruling in Armenia sentencing prominent opposition editor Nikol Pashinyan to 7 years in prison.

I am sure, today there will be many articles and reports in Armenian media, rightly stating that - 3 years on - there is still no justice in Hrant Dink murder case.

But the pro-government circles will turn a blind eye (=court ruling) that ironically this very same day Armenia gets yet another political prisoner. A disgrace.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Armenian comedy... er, sorry... ‘elections’

Another ‘election’ passed... The fact that it features prominently on Armenian Comedy website says it all. The title was spot on: “Kidney Stone Elected for Armenian Parliament” (basically, a noone). Armenian real life tragicomedy in making.

Election has long become a joke in Armenia. Some still go and try... many gave up and do not care anymore. From mid-90s till now, the very idea of possibility to make changes via elections was effed up in Armenia. Outcome is predictable. Authorities... the same. Opposition lacks policy/directions/strategy. Apathy rules. Back to indifference of Kocharyan years?

Honestly, no political force in Armenia inspires me any more, not even the slightest. However, there are many inspirational individuals out there, regardless of their political affiliations and views. They are minority. But they are the only hope I see could eventually move Armenia forward. I do believe in individual's ability to make a difference.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Armenian gay icon Parajanov festival in London (February - May 2010)

He is one of my all time favourite film directors. For me, he is an Armenian gay icon. And not only for me... for many LGBT Armenians, Georgians, Ukrainians, Russians.... world-wide.

It's with great pleasure, I'd like to let you know that for the first time, a large scale Parajanov festival will be staged in London (+ Bristol) over February-May 2010.

For details, see Unzipped: Gay Armenia

P.S. Btw, today is Parajanov’s birthday. Happy bday, Parajanov!! x

*I made this picture outside the museum of Parajanov in Yerevan, Armenia

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Hrant Dink Day in London - 19 January 2010

Hrant Dink was a prominent Turkish-Armenian editor who was assassinated in Istanbul on 19 January 2007.

The Hrant Dink Society
c/o The Temple of Peace, Cardiff, Wales

invites you to events on

Hrant Dink Day, 19th January 2010,
in the UK Parliament, London

"The Minorities of Turkey"

1. Outside the Turkish Embassy-A Silent Vigil at 1 p.m. with banners: "Turkey respect your Minorities"

2. Meeting in the House of Commons at 5 p.m. (Committee Room 16). "Hrant Dink and Turkish Armenia"
Sponsor: Nia Griffith MP

3. Meeting in the House of Lords Lords (Committee Room 3A at 7 p.m. ) on Minority Rights in Turkey
Soonsor: Baroness Finlay of Llandaff