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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Tweetathon, march, “wall of shame” - Armenia marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Tweetathon
To raise awareness of this year's 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign and of gender-based violence in general, a group of civil society organisations are planning a Tweetathon this Friday, 25 Nov 2011. Friday is the first of the 16 Days and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

To participate in the Tweetathon, please join the conversation by using the #16days hashtag. Here are a few suggestions via Women’s Resource Center and PINK Armenia:
"This Friday is #IDEVAW and the start of #16days2011. Join the #16days tweetathon on 25 Nov to spread awareness about #GBV & #VAW" 
"Today is #IDEVAW and the start of #16days2011. What can we do to combat #GBV & #VAW all year? Share your thoughts using the #16days hashtag" 
"Happening now: #16days tweetathon. Check out what people are saying about #GBV & #VAW and join the conversation! #IDEVAW #16days2011" 
"#FollowFriday: the #16days tweetathon! #GBV #VAW #IDEVAW #16days2011 #FF"

March
Few stats via Women’s Resource Center, Armenia:
1 in every 3 women experiencing domestic violence around the world are also subjected to sexual assault.
In the first semester of 2011 there were 10 registered legal cases on trafficking in Armenia; 8 are related to sexual trafficking of women.
In Armenia, women are still getting abortions based on gender choice (favoring male fetuses over female). The gender ratio has reached a scandalous level and organizations are getting worried.
In Armenia, we have 131 deputies and only 11 among them are women.
Poverty strikes women the most; globally 70% among the poorest are women.
In Armenia, we have 18 ministers, among them only 2 are women.
In the world, 95% of victims of domestic violence are women.
No one will be protected against violence if we stay silent!
In Armenia, approximately 1 671 012 of the population is female.
You have 1 671 012 reasons to join this march to stop violence against women and girls on 25 November!

Street action "Wall of shame" 

(Unzipped: reminds me in concept my Hall of Shame)

Women's Rights Center organises a street action called "Wall of shame" in the framework of 16 Days of Activism. During the action a poster demonstrating husband’s violent behavior towards her wife (the scene is caught by their little daughter) will be presented in the center of the avenue. Papers and pens will be distributed to the passersby, who may express their feelings and comments on that picture. It is anticipated that the picture will be covered with different comments of the passersby until the end of the action.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Barbaric destruction of what remained from old Yerevan continues

...and now it's a turn of my very favourite part of downtown Yerevan - buildings on Arami street. Instead of preserving what little remained from old Yerevan, those in power systematically destroy it.

Activists organised a chained protest action last night in an attempt to prevent such act of barbarism (and I am using here the mildest possible word).



Via CivilNetTV: Արամի 30 հասցեում գտնվող "Էդեն" սրճարանն այսօր փակվում է. շենքը ենթակա է ապամոնտաժման: Այս կապակցությամբ մի խումբ ակտիվիստներ հավաքվել էին շենքի մոտ` արտահայտելու իրենց բողոքն ու կոչ անելու պահպանել պատմական շինությունները Երևանում: Ադրինե Գրիգորյանն իրեն շղթայել էր շենքին: Նա ցանկանում էր ընդգծել, որ մենք պատմության մի մասն ենք ու պարտավոր ենք տեր լինել մեր արժեքներին:

*Thanks to Ditord for the link to the video.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

"Building the [Soviet] Revolution"... sort of... in London

(Never built) Tatlin’s Tower was re-created to mark "Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935" exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
[...] Its official title was Monument to the Third International (the revolutionary congress of that name had taken place in 1919) and it was intended to mark the Soviet revolution in Petrograd (St Petersburg) in much the same way that the Eiffel Tower was built to commemorate the French Revolution in Paris – a century after the event. Tatlin’s Tower would have stretched right across the River Neva.

This monument was intended as a conference and administration hub, as well as a propaganda broadcast centre and all-purpose symbol for international revolution. Talking of revolution, buildings slung within its armature would have rotated at different speeds (a year, a month, a day) making it not only a huge metaphor but also the world’s largest perpetual calendar.

Never built, Tatlin’s Tower passed into mythology. It has been a potent symbol for both the Left and for those artists and architects influenced by Russian Constructivism: Richard Rogers RA, Zaha Hadid RA and Anish Kapoor RA all acknowledge it. [...]

These "building the revolution" posters can be seen all over London.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Exposed: racism and 'blood purity' part of ideology of Armenia ruling Republican party?

Thanks to a Facebook friend of mine, I did something I have never done before (or never had any desire whatsoever to do). I looked at the library of ideological publications produced by Armenia's ruling Republican party. In particular, one ‘fundamental’ and pretty 'mind-blowing’ publication. Trust me, that was more than enough for me. What I read there is disgusting, and believe you me, "disgusting" is an understatement.

It's a publication about ‘foundations’ of Armenian family and gender roles (published by Republican party in 2002 and available under the “library” section of their official website).


It uses N-word to refer to black people and 'justifies' the notion of 'purity of blood' calling for no mixed marriages in order to preserve... yes, that very same 'purity of blood' + more racist rant. I am not even going further into their 'defining' of gender roles etc. If this is not a Nazi and racist ideology, then what is it?

For a country with European inclination, or in fact for any country, this is an appalling display of what should have no place in modern world, let alone as part of the ideology of ruling party.  I wonder if Armenia president and PM, as party leaders, are aware of these ideological 'pearls' and whether they share what is supposedly part of their own party ideology? Either they should immediately ditch them from their 'library' and distance themselves from what was expressed in this and similar party publications or people associated with the Republican party risk putting shame on themselves and on Armenia's reputation.

Just to illustrate the point, below are only few extracts from the “Armenian Family” (“ՀԱՅ ԸՆՏԱՆԻՔ” - AM) publication (Republican Party of Armenia, Yerevan 2002):

Երբ մի քանի տարի առաջ ժառանգաբան Նվարդ Քոչարին հարցրեցինք, թե արդյոք ինքը համաձայն կլիներ, որ հայը, օրինակ, նեգրի հետ ամուսնանար, նա պատասխանեց.

- Եթե ընտրեց, ամուսնացավ, այո, համաձայն եմ: Կարեւորը որ նա հայկական միջավայրում ապրի եւ հայանա: Ինչ վատ կլինի, եթե նեգրի երաժշտականությունը, ռիթմի զգացողությունը ներմուծվի:

Թե ինչպես պիտի նեգրը հայանա, նույնիսկ երեւակայությունը թույլ չի տալիս պատկերացնել: Իսկ որ հայերս երաժշտականության բնածին պակաս ունենք եւ ստիպված պիտի ուրիշից ներմուծենք, շատ անլուրջ է:

Ներկայումս խառնազգի ամուսնությունները մեզանում (լինի Հայրենիքում, թե Սփյուռքում) առավելապես կատարվում են հաշվենկատորեն, երբ, բարեկեցիկ կյանքի ակնկալիքով, շատ հայեր “ամուսնանում” են եվրոպացիների, ամերիկացիների, արդեն` նաեւ պարսիկների, արաբների հետ:


Արյունախառնության կողմնակիցները գտնում են, որ իբր խաչասերումից առաջացած սերունդն ավելի ոժեղ և խելոք է լինում: Դժվար թե: [...] օրինակ, մուլատների մոտ ակնհայտ են մտավոր պակասությունները:

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

"От перемены мест слагаемых..." - re: so called sackings and resignations in Armenia ruling circle

In case you have a (even the tiniest possible) thought that what's being happening now - number of high profile reshuffles, including police chief and speaker of the parliament - may somehow positively or negatively impact your life or that of your country... It will be the same. Nothing has really changed. A bit better, a bit worse, doesn’t much matter. This reshuffle has a very specific internal meaning and importance. Internal in terms of power reshuffle within the ruling party and administration in the run-up of the elections.

Have a look at the ‘new’ police chief who replaced the 'old' one. It’s the same guy who instead of tackling root causes of violence in the army (as deputy MoD), started blaming everything on... 'foreign-sponsored groups' who has been voicing their concerns re status quo in the army, threatening with 'legal actions', a claim repeated afterwards by the minister himself. I am not even going into details of his 'heroic' track record. You may have thought that Alik was the worst possible choice for police chief. Think again. It’s very difficult to decide who is better here: Alik or Vova? “Better” is not the word to be used. It’s from worse to worse. 

In its essence, it’s all about elections, loyalty, although have to be honest, I am not entirely sure that Vova Gasparyan (new police chief) is any less or more loyal than Alik Sargsyan (now former police chief).

But above all, its about their perceived ability to “secure" winning the upcoming election. What the word “secure” means in Armenian election context, no need to explain. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

Ironically, now ex-speaker Hovik Abrahamyan (nicknamed "muk" - AM for mouse) will be heading - yet again - the election HQ of the ruling Republican party. Some say this was his ‘punishment’ for alleged alliances with (pro-Kocharyan) Prosperous Armenia party and ex-president Kocharyan himself. Who cares?

There is an expression that describes what's being happening perfectly. I do not know why but I like saying it in Russian: От перемены мест слагаемых сумма не меняется.