Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's our city and we'll dance wherever we want to.

"Baghramyan Avenue is not an appropriate place to dance."
- Serge Sarkissian
(former Defense Minister, recently appointed Prime Minister), 4/12/04

On April 12, 2004, thousands of Armenian citizens filled Baghramyan avenue facing the Parliamentary building, in protest against the fraudulent elections and calling for the President's resignation. Among the masses, a group of patriotic Armenians lifted their friends over their shoulders and began a traditional circle dance in the middle of the street.

Baghramyan Ave. - April 12, 2004

Shortly thereafter, the protest was dispersed by irreprehensible, unnecessary and brutal violence by military police.

On April 12, 2007, around 7:30pm, a group of about 20 Armenians gathered at the intersection of Baghramyan and Demirchyan Avenues, once again facing Parliament, and for just a few minutes ran into the middle the intersection to form a circle and dance.

Baghramyan Ave. - April 12, 2007

The people involved (some of whom were victim to beatings in 2004, some of whom were witness, and others who were not at all present that day) organized this event yesterday to remind the country and this government of what happened just 3 years ago; that violence against peace is always wrong; to demonstrate in solidarity that peoples' freedoms must never be taken away; and to symbollically state that they will not stand for this country's government to pressure their fellow Armenians - not in 1996, not in 2004, not in 2007 and not in 2008.

article in Armenian:


Anonymous said...

From looking at the photo it doesn't look as though anyone noticed.

artate said...

everything one does doesn't have to be for the benefit of showing other people. the beauty of something like this blog is that after the fact perhaps someone like you will read about it and maybe care. or not. it really doesn't matter.

the dance wasn't advertised or PR-ed. no media was called. in the state that armenia is in today, it was a potentially dangerous action and the idea wasn't to collect a lot of people and put them all at risk for this cause. this was a personal vindication that some people (some people who were victim to severe beatings), felt that they needed to do for their own sense of what is right.

artmika said...

Great post, very well made, to the point! Thanks for it, may sign under each sentence in your post. Looking at these pictures, I cant help but notice the striking difference: while the dancers' soul is the same, look at the surroundings...