Sunday, 25 March 2012

Censorship alert: Armenia author persecuted for his book reflecting the army

Unbelievable. What ages are we living in?! Say your firm NO to attempts of taking back Armenia into dark ages of Stalinism.
(via Facebook page: Signing of petition to support author Hovhannes Ishkhanyan)

Sign petition here:

As writers, artists, intellectuals, and concerned members of the Armenian diaspora (and beyond), we add our names to this petition to express our outrage over the censorship of Hovhannes Ishkhanyan's novel Demob Day by the Military Police in Armenia and by various bookstores in Yerevan. Freedom of expression is the bedrock of any democracy; the interrogation of an author and the removal of literature from bookshelves harkens back to the primitive, brutal, unenlightened, and fearful days of Stalinism and Fascism.

Literature is one means by which an open society examines, discusses and debates the problems it faces. A celebration of the five hundred year anniversary of books in Armenia rings hollow at this time when even one book, dealing with a timely and crucial issue of Armenian society, does not have a chance of being read.

We urge the authorities involved, including the Ministry of Culture and the Central Military Prosecutor's Office of Armenia, to drop their pursuit of charging Ishkhanyan with Article 263 of the Criminal Code of Armenia (the illegal dissemination of pornographic materials or items). We stand behind our fellow writers in Armenia as they defend Ishkhanyan and will watch this case carefully to offer further support in keeping literature in Armenia free from blatant intrusions and threats from the government.

Sign petition here:
/pictures - by Nazik Armenakyan, ArmeniaNow; emphasis mine/

For more on this case, read here:

Fiction?: Army pursues author as Armenia celebrates its status as “World Book Capital” (ArmeniaNow)

Armenian Writer Persecuted for ‘Vulgar’ Novel on Army (

Law-Enforcement Agencies Censor (Aravot)

Գրաքննության փորձ. ոստիկանները կարդացել են «Ուվալնյատի օրը» (Human Rights in Armenia)

Ռազմական ոստիկանությունն ինձնից վրեժ է լուծում. Հովհաննես Իշխանյան (

Երիտասարդ գրողի նկատմամբ հետապնդումը կարող է Հայաստանում արտահայտվելու ազատությունը խոչընդոտելու նախադեպ դառնալ (

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Scarface: "The government is your government. What are YOU going to do about it?"

Was watching the old version of classic Scarface (director Howard Hawks, 1932) and was amazed that the film begins with the message demanding government to take actions re gang culture and calling viewers to act as "the government is your government”:
“This picture is an indictment of gang rule in America and of the callous indifference of the government to this constantly increasing menace to our safety and our liberty. 
Every incident in this picture is the reproduction of an actual occurrence, and the purpose of this picture is to demand of the government: “What are you going to do about it?” 
The government is your government. What are YOU going to do about it?”

Friday, 9 March 2012

Erotic-acrobatic Ukrainian-Armenian guilty pleasure: "Մի թողնիր ինձ մենակ" (Don't forsake me)

Something light to start the weekend with. You know, a guilty pleasure type of thing.

Ladies & Gents, here we are: erotic-acrobatic Ukrainian-Armenian former-dancer-turned-singer Vitaliy Kozlovskiy and former-striptease-dancer-turned-singer Varda (Vardush? :) They are Ukrainian but both with Armenian roots. And they sing in Armenian.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Losers! Armenia Public TV withdraws from Eurovision 2012

They could have announced it much earlier, with dignity, with a kind of reasoning that would have gained them respect. Instead, they resorted to stupid propaganda games and outright lies. They undignified themselves to the extent of exploiting death of the Armenian soldier. Not only they behaved as total losers, now they have to pay big sum fines too. A disgrace.

Read the background story here: Public TV in Armenia and pop singers in PR disaster over Eurovision

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Beware: zombies and Hitler lookalikes invaded downtown Yerevan

*Liberty sq, downtown Yerevan, 4 March 2012 (picture by Sergey Sargsyan)

...And this group “Hayots Artsivner” [‘Armenian Eagles’] is headed by deputy minister of sport and youth affairs Khachik Asryan. Disgusting is an understatement. Unacceptable and shameful for government official is an understatement. Shouldn’t be surprising though, taking into account that ruling Republican party is favouring such ideology: Exposed: racism and 'blood purity' part of ideology of Armenia ruling Republican party? [interestingly, website of the Republican party is not working as of now]

They - plus other neo-nazi groups, like Mek Azg etc. - look and sound more like clowns, and it’s hard, very hard to take them seriously.

However... We may laugh as long and as hard as we wish, but suddenly we may wake up with these people invading Armenia for real. Then, there will be a no laughing matter.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Armenia: garbage 'ballot' box

Ballot box = garbage bin? This is how some in Armenia view the process of "elections" here.

A sign on garbage bin in Yerevan reads: "ballot box"

*picture - via @reporter_arm