Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Important message from Eurovision to Baku: Azerbaijan must guarantee freedom of expression and sufficient visa entry [incl. for Armenians]

“In line with standard requirements that have to be fulfilled to host the Eurovision Song Contest, the government of Azerbaijan has been requested by the EBU to provide guarantees about security during the event, as well as freedom of expression, according to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and in line with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, to all participants, fans, accredited journalists and the individual citizens of the country that access official Eurovision Song Contest premises. The EBU also requested that all accredited individuals and ticket holders shall receive sufficient entrance visa for the required duration. Such guarantees are expected to be given in the weeks to come.” - reads statement published on official Eurovision website.

As Escdaily rightly pointed out, “such words are more than likely to refer to the question of Armenia’s participation, VISA entry requirements, and questions about press freedom in the would-be host country.”


More on Unzipped: Gay Armenia

Saturday, 25 June 2011

'Friendly handshake' from Basel... with 'Dita Von Teese'

'Friendly handshake'
Green trams
'SODOM', well, sort of ;)
The only reason I bought this bottle of Perrier... because it was featuring Dita Von Teese :)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Dancing under rain - First Armenian Street Festival in London

Poor organisers. ('հայի բախտ' situation) The weather was so miserable today that it spoilt to a great extent what promised to be a fun Armenian day out in the heart of London. The first Armenian Street Festival. But as you could see from these pics, some were making their best effort to have fun with Armenian dancings under rain.
It all resembled Yerevan's Vernissage (something like Armenian Camden Market), meaning that for people from Armenia, like me, there was nothing particularly special there although was cute seeing a Yerevan 'institution' transferred to the Armenian church courtyard and beyond in London. I assume, this should have been more interesting and exciting for Diaspora Armenians and occasional British residents and guests. Greetings by Mayor Boris Johnson were passed to the festival participants.
As expected with Armenian events, the least organised part was food section :) which despite some efforts made was a bit chaotic (reasonably tasty but chaotic). And different people getting slightly different portions for the same food tickets they purchased.
Turnout was pretty good. Imagine that it would have been totally packed if there were more favourable weather conditions. Here is hoping for sunny, or at least more rainbow-ish 2nd street festival.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Armenia: political prisoners... no longer


Many comment and ask whether this was done under the international pressure, debate the underlying reasons etc. The most important for me is that international pressure would be irrelevant and could have no impact unless there are internal drivers and demand too. The latter could be indicative of (positive) changes in our society.

I may only hope that the phrase "political prisoner" will become an anachronism in AM dictionary. Now, after three years of stagnation, it’s time to move forward.

Spotted: Arshile Gorky poster at deprivation division line in London

Deptford Bridge train station in South-East London. This station is like a separation line between Greenwich area with its traditional or new developments and a very deprived Deptford area. Make one step towards Deptford, and you could literally feel the deprivation and you could immediately sense that you entered not the safest part of London, to put it mildly.

The fact that they didn’t change the advert poster for a year-old Tate Modern exhibit of Arshile Gorky, may indicate that the advertisers are not exactly interested in promoting their services or whatever in the area. On the other hand, the very fact that art poster appeared there, even if a year ago, could be a hopeful sign that one day things could change for better. With the help of Arshile Gorky... :)