Sunday, 24 April 2011

Armenians in London mark the anniversary of 1915 Genocide (video)

Commemorating the Armenian Genocide 24 April 1915 - London 23/04/2011

*video by AYFUK (Armenian Youth Forum UK)

Yerevan State University students council marks the Armenian Genocide anniversary... with a cheap show of flag burning hatred on Facebook

You may have thought that the students council at the Yerevan State University fails in standing up for students rights only. You would be wrong. They fail on many other levels too.

To mark the Armenian Genocide anniversary, they created an event on Facebook for ... virtual flag burning of Turkey and Azerbaijan flags. How heroic!

I mentioned many times my opinion on flag burning and will repeat here briefly.

It's wrong, unnecessary and distracts from the main message. It’s simply a cheap show of pseudo-patriotism that only adds to the hatred without having any positive impact whatsoever.

I am glad that many current and former university students raised their discontent re their students council actions and started reporting the event’s page.
amot e, yes amachum em, vor event-i henc heghinak@ nshvac e Hamaslarani us.xorhurd@, yes report em anum sa, qani vor atelutyun@ lucum che, isk nman ararqner@ chxchim baner en, sa arjanapativ pahvacq che! (example - FB status)
I reported it too. At the time of writing, the event’s page disappeared and was no longer accessible on Facebook ("The page you requested was not found"). I take it that our reporting made an effect, although some claim they still can access the page.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Komitas: ‘forgotten folk hero who speaks for the soul of nation’, as per The Guardian and Armen Ra, US-based Iranian Armenian Theremin virtuoso

The forgotten folk hero
Composer Komitas Vardapet survived a genocide and brought Armenia and Turkey’s divided music closer. He should be better known, says Michael Church in The Guardian. 
Sunday 24 April is Easter Day, but for Armenians it is also genocide remembrance day. This is when Armenians all over the world will gather to commemorate the anniversary of the 1915 genocide in which 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey were either slaughtered, or died on forced marches into exile. For Armenians, music is memory. And whenever they gather to honour their dead, the songs they sing are by the composer who speaks for the soul of their nation, Komitas Vardapet. He himself was a victim of the 1915 persecution, and though he survived physically, he was driven into madness by it. Outside Armenia he, too, has been swept under the carpet of history. More... 

And here is a brilliant interpretation of Crane (Komitas) by Armen Ra, US-based Iranian Armenian Theremin virtuoso. More about Armen Ra...

Crane, Komitas

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Disgrace of the Day: police in Azerbaijan capital Baku escorts a girl after she shouted "freedom"

I am speechless. Can state brutality go any further than this? A total disgrace.

*via Yahoo News:

Azeri police escort a girl after she shouted "freedom" during an opposition rally to protest against policies by the authorities in Baku April 17, 2011. The girl attended the protest with her mother and the two were taken away in a police car. REUTERS/Irada Humbatova

Thursday, 14 April 2011

PINK Armenia and activists: "Prejudice and discrimination made us silent today" - Day of Silence 2011

15 April 2011 - Day of Silence

"We apologize, but we won’t be available for the world on April 15: we will not respond to emails, phone calls, we will not have any activities and will not provide any direct service. On April 15, we will keep silence for..."

*source: PINK Armenia

More details - Unzipped: Gay Armenia

Relevant reading: Call to Armenian media. Do the right thing. Write about the Day of Silence - 15 April 2011. Raise your voice against bullying and harassment of LGBT youth

Monday, 11 April 2011

Armenian artist Rafael Megall presents his first UK exhibition at central London gallery

Born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1983, Rafael Megall (Melikyan) - - started to paint at the age of nine. Since an early age he has exhibited his paintings, both in solo exhibitions and at prestigious international shows, such as (most recently) SOFA-New York 2009, ArtExpo-New York 2009, Florence Biennale 2009 and Toronto Art Expo in 2010. Rafael’s paintings appear in numerous private and public collections, including National Gallery of Armenia and the Vatican.

He is a son of well known doctor (endoscopic surgery) and MP from “Prosperous Armenia” party Armen Melikyan.

Says Celine Gauld-Bruckner of the Gallery 8: “It is an honour to present this first UK exhibition of the fine young Armenian artist Rafael Megall. My first reaction to his wonderfully vibrant paintings was to smile at the warmth and energy they emanate. Evincing a powerful sense of form and colour the paintings are executed with a sureness of touch that is a product of Rafael's relationship with and interpretation of Nature."

I like this quote by Rafael: “Painting will not be born if you do not put fire under your feet.”
He reveres Nature as his greatest teacher - 'I create my Nature, my images, by means of feeling and passing through my inner world'. The artist’s world is far from being fragile however, it is instead rebellious, chaotic and complex. His character is reflected in the palette of his paintings, his every creation a 'self-portrait'. (Galleries magazine)
Exhibition runs 11-17 April 2011, 10am-5pm, Gallery 8 (8 Duke Street, St James’s, London SW1Y 6BN

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

"Break the silence on violence!" - social ad and exhibition by Armenian women's rights groups

Social ad created by the Women's Resource Center's volunteers Sarag Blue and Kathy Moughalian, edited by Sarkissian Tamar - on violence against women.
7 April 2011, 1-6pm, Charles Aznavour Square (in front of "Moscow" cinema), Yerevan, Armenia

"Respect women - stop violence" exhibition organised by another activist group - Women's Rights Center in Yerevan: "to raise public awareness on the negative influence of domestic violence against women and children. During the exhibition silhouettes of 7 women with attached true stories on them will be exhibited and the passersby will be handed informative leaflets and booklets on domestic violence phenomenon." For more details, see event's Facebook page.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Losers! Armenia TV censors president-related joke at Tashir 2011 pop music ceremony from Moscow

This was such a blatant censorship by Armenia TV that even Soviet-style apparatchiks would feel uncomfortable about. At least Soviet era communists were employing more sophisticated methods. They interrupted live coverage of humorist Garik Martirosyan's joke re Armenia president Serj Sargsyan during Tashir 2011 Armenian pop music ceremony from Moscow, by replacing it with the sketch of own production.

Immediately, @ArmComedy and myself @unzippedblog started commenting on Twitter and using hashtag #fail in relation to Armenia TV.

Around 30 mins later, they realised what a ridiculous thing they have done, and Garik went to the stage and repeated his joke. I am so not buying that Garik's joke was censored due to "technical glitch", as was announced during the ceremony. It was because Armenia TV got scared, and decided not to 'risk', just in case. At the end, as expected, the joke was anything but 'dangerous' for Armenian president.

Armenia TV made a laughing stock out of itself. There is one word for such people. Losers!

P.S. I am not going to comment here about the ceremony itself. Suffice to say, if not for Lara Fabian, I should have demanded an apartment in Yerevan as a compensation for wasted hours and serious attack of tastelessness.

Armenian Syrian photographer Hrair Sarkissian "In between" dreamt of and post-Soviet realities in Armenia, at Tate Modern, London

Familiar pictures. Still, bizarre to see these grand Soviet-style buildings in the middle of nowhere.

Three works of Armenian Syrian photographer Hrair Sarkissian are exhibited (11 February - 17 April 2011) as part of Out of Place intimate display at Tate Modern in London.

Tate Modern writes: "Hrair Sarkissian’s In Between 2007 [Unzipped: as per Hrair Sarkissian website, see below, it's 2006] is a series of large-scale photographs of austere Soviet-style buildings left abandoned in the dramatic hills and valleys of rural Armenia. They register the paradox experienced by this Syrian artist of Armenian origin of ‘returning’ to a land which he had only known from family stories, as the reality of the region replaced the country he had imagined"

Hrair Sarkissian website adds: "The In Between (2006) series grew out of an inconsistency in Sarkissian’s own identity (born in Syria with Armenian origins) that came to the fore after he visited Armenia several times. The reality of Armenia struggling to survive and recovering from the remains of the Soviet system did not match the image of a self-assured and proud ‘Mother Armenia’ the diaspora Armenians grew up with."