Unfortunately, like two years ago, we witnessed similar level of nationalist hysteria.
Along with other medium, anti-Azerbaijani film festival Facebook page was set up full of hatred and with open calls at life of the organiser Georgi Vanyan.
Below is a screenshot of just one such example, with a description of ‘murder plot’.
Notorious mayor of Gyumri used the occasion to spearhead the nationalist parade against the film festival.
@onewmphoto: Poor Gyumri. Noted for its architecture & humor in the Soviet era, devastated by the 1988 earthquake, & now the fiefdom of Vartan GhukasianThis was a campaign of bullying, intimidation, hate speech, direct death threats, psychological and physical abuse towards someone who you do not agree with. This was not a ‘civil’ protest. More like a mob rule.
Video of attack demonstrates this clearly.
As one of my Facebook friends commented on his page: is this how civilised and cultured people need to react to showing of film? “Do these protesters realize how insecure and weak they appear? So shameful...”
As I mentioned re relevant circumstances two years ago:
I strongly believe that art, and culture, do not recognise borders. Even if countries are at the state of war. Art, and films, are the best way for ordinary people to get to know each other better, to break the ice, even or especially in case of closed borders. There is also internet, of course, and meetings outside the national borders.Once again, freedom of speech lost in Armenia. Once again, state structures in Armenia failed to protect constitutional rights and freedom of their citizens. There were no winners.
I have no problem if there are people who protest the idea or the fact of the festival. It’s their right. But do it in a (at least remotely) civilised way, without engaging the lowest possible denominator of nationalist/racist crap, personal attacks and threats to individuals. There is a fine line when freedom of speech gets transformed into something that should be considered within the frames of legal/criminal code. Many have already crossed that line.
Armenia: Nationalist Threats Against Local Activist
Armenia: Support for Georgi Vanyan