Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Maxim Gorky theatre in Berlin delivers impressively designed programme re the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

This was perhaps, the most impressive, diverse and arty programme I have ever seen in any country re the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. From the outside installation to the in-house design, from the leaflets and posters to the impressive variety of performances, concerts, films and events, including concert by Arto Tunçboyacıyan and world preview premiere of the Armenian Genocide themed film "1915" (see my brief reflections towards the end).

I am a big fan of independent cinemas and venues, and Maxim Gorky theatre in Berlin is exactly my type of the venue.

The influence of one of my all-time fave couples Atom Egoyan and Arsinée Khanjian was palpable, with the design themes à la Parajanov.

Concert by Arto Tunçboyacıyan was enjoyable, albeit somewhat lacklustre, lacking usual Arto's drive. I was told that his luggage didn't arrive in time. Not sure if this affected his mood.

There was also a world preview premiere of the new Armenian Genocide themed film "1915" by Garin Hovannisian [son of Armenia's ex-FM Raffi Hovannisian and grandson of well known historian Richard Hovannisian] and Alec Mouhibian. I thought it was mainly directed at Diaspora Armenians. Kudos to directors for attempting at portraying it in an unconventional way, raising some challenging questions. However, I am not convinced re the overall execution of the film, with unstable narratives and performances. But it will certainly generate discussions. [in picture above: Alec Mouhibian, Garin Hovannisian and Nikolai Kinski during the Q&A]

Saturday, 18 April 2015

London march to mark the centenary of the Armenian Genocide

Today, the Armenian community in London and friends were marching to mark the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

Turnout was relatively good. The route of the march was initially via 'backyard' streets, and for a while we were marching along almost empty streets. This has changed when we reached Trafalgar sq, and from there march continued along the busy streets, filled with tourists and locals enjoying the glorious weather in London.

Marchers were bearing flags of the nations that formally recognised the Armenian Genocide. According to the programme, a handing in the Centenary Petition at 10 Downing Street was planned too (I missed it but I assume it did happen).

When we reached the final destination - St Paul's cathedral, a representative of the St Paul's addressed the public on a PA system from the top of the Western Stairs. It was a heart-warming speech with references to sharing the pain of the Armenians and commemorating the anniversary. She announced that the bishop will travel to Yerevan to participate in April 24th commemorative events.

Start of the march - Green park:

Reaching Trafalgar sq:

At the Cenotaph:

Marching along Westminster, Big Ben, river Thames:

Final destination - St Paul's cathedral: