Monday, October 8, 2007

Rock for Freedom

Երեկ Մհերն իր ելույթից առաջ ասաց. «Հայաստանում ազատության հետ տարօրինակ բաներ են կատարվում»: Ամեն տեղ է կատարվում: Ազատության մասին խոսակցություններին հընթացս նվազում է ազատություն ապրելը:

Վերջերս ուսանողներիս հետ միասին կարդում էինք Շերվուդ Անդերսոնի «Սերմեր» պատմվածքը: Ահա մի հատված.

The lives of people are like young trees in a forest. They are being choked by climbing vines. The vines are old thoughts and beliefs planted by dead men...I want to be a leaf blown by the wind over hills. I want to die and be born again, and I am only a tree covered with vines and slowly dying. I am, you see, weary and want to be made clean."

Ընդհանրապես հրաշալի պատվածք էր: Անդերսոնը պատմվածքի ամենամեծ վարպետներից է, որին երբևէ հանդիպել եմ: Կարդալիս մտածում էի, թե որքան դժվար է փոքրիկ մի դրվագում ամփոփել մարդկային դեմքերն ու կյանքերը... Մի քանի պատմվածք կարդալով` մի օրինաչափություն նկատեցի: Հերոսներին հաճախ անանուն է թողնում: Երևի պատահական չի: Անունն ամբողջական, բազմակտավ նկարագիր է պահանջում. վեպ: Պատմվածքը մարդու կյանքից մի այնպիսի պատառ է, որ պատմում է նրա անհատականության մասին, առանց մանրամասնելու ողջ անատոմիա-հոգեբանական ամբողջությունը: Անասելի բարդ խնդիր է:

Իսկ ինչպե՞ս ազատվել քեզ խեղդող մտքերից ու հավատալիքներից, մնալ ինքդ քեզ հավատարիմ և ...ազատ... Ինչպե՞ս քշվել քամուց որպես «ես»: Ես չգիտեմ այս հարցի պատասխանը:

Բայց շեղվում եմ թեմայից: Երեկվա համերգը: Չգիտեմ ինչու, առաջին անգամ միայն երեկ մտածեցի, որ մեր ռոք համայնքն էլ նույնական է փոփին: Չեմ զգում վերելք, ինքն իրեն այդ երաժշտության մեջ բացահայտելու մոլուցք, թեկուզև սխալական: Այսինքն, իզուր եմ ընդհանրացնում: Օրինակ` Սակվոյաժը վատ խումբ չի, հավեսով, ուրախ, փորձարարական ջահելներ են: Օքսենհեմը բավականին մեղեդային է, սովորաբար հնչում է որպես խումբ, ոչ որպես անհատների խմբավորում: Մնացածը... Բամբիռի մասին չեմ խոսում, քանի որ երեկ չկային: Թեև որպես ռոք խումբ ամենաշատն եմ սիրում. ամենավարակիչն են, ամենաանկեղծը: Սիրում եմ նաև Օքսենհեմին, բայց գիտե՞ք ում են նմանվում: Իրենց արվեստի մեջ հասունացած վարպետների, որոնց պոռթկումն ինչ-ինչ պատճառներով կասեցվել է: Միգուցե ա՞յլ բեմեր են հարկավոր նրանց նոր հրաբխի համար...Առանց հրաբխի արվեստ չկա. առանց ժայթքումների, սխալների, ճանապարհներից արյունոտված ոտքերի արվեստ չկա: Լավագույն դեպքում լավ կատարում:

Մի խոսքով, երեկ լավ էր միայն տանից դուրս գալու փաստը:-) Կամ էլ մոռացել եմ, ինչպես են ուրախանում:-)

Իսկ Օննիկի հոդվածից, չգիտեմ ինչու, զայրացա: Նույնիսկ եթե ամեն ինչ ճիշտ էր, այդքան թույնը գունազրկել էր նույն այդ ճշմարտությունը: Արհեստավարժ լրագրողից ավելին էի սպասում. կուզենայի հարցազրույց տեսնել նույն Բելլայի կամ Սուրենի հետ: Չեմ կարծում կհրաժարվեին...

Ամեն ինչ խառնեցի իրար: Երևի շատ բան ունեմ ասելու ու վախենում եմ չհասցնել:-)

5 comments:

christina said...

5 comments:
Onnik Krikorian said...
Hey, Christina, you know, it would be good if you could make such comments in English at my blog as well.

After all, an English-speaking audience would read them and also, I could respond for both you and them.
October 11, 2007 4:33 AM
Onnik Krikorian said...
Well, anyway, to respond to your points. Firstly, was I angry about the security at the Sksela event. Yes, I was, and was more and more so as the evening wore on when initial comments to Isabella were ignored. In my opinion, she should have acted to get the security guys to do their job more professionally. Other Sksela guys acknowledged the problem, but she didn't.

Later, when even a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press pass for an accredited foreign journalist in Armenia was ignored by the security guys preventing me from getting into position to shoot some photos and when Isabella also refused to admit to the problem as well as answer questions about funding, that was it for me.

As for raising points with the organizers, listen, I've tried that in the past and it doesn't work. My questions about funding have been ignored by Isabella although when I said in the past I heard that the British Embassy paid for some events not only did she remain silent, but she also told me I "could not write that."

Basically, like NDI and others, Sksela is a less than transparent organization when it comes to financial support made worse because as they're not registered, money in many cases is being provided "clandestinely." Like almost any group here, they also expect only those journalists sympathetic to their orientation to write about them.

Simply put, Sksela don't understand when questions are posed which any normal journalist would ask. In particular, these relate to finance and in the case of Arsen Kharatian, the position of his mother, a political figure and government official, on the matter. These are obvious questions, in fact, but ones they don't like asked.

Anyway, was I too angry? Perhaps, but when I am confronted with a heavier and more intimidating security presence that at any government or other event I've attended in recent years, I think I have a right to be. Besides, I wrote what I did on a blog and not in an article. They are two totally different things.

Ultimately though, I wrote with the fact that the security was appalling, rude, over the top, and intimidating to everyone in mind. Moreover, I wrote as a British citizen and Armenia resident who witnessed how they treated the audience and journalists alike while being presumably paid with money provided my own Embassy.

Basically, I had very right to be angry, and especially when the situation existed at an event staged by a group who profess to represent something different... and all in the name of a "freedom" that didn't actually exist at the event itself.
October 11, 2007 10:50 AM
Observer said...
Քրիստինա ջան – ուրախ եմ, որ շարունակում ես գրել, այժմ արդեն այս նոր բլոգում։ Նաև, որպես Սկսելայի անդամ, չեմ կարող շնորհակալություն չհայտնել իմ իսկ լավ ընկեր Օնիկի հրատարակության մասին անկեղծ և, իմ կարծիքով, ճիշտ բնութագրում անելու համար։

Ինչ ասեմ, նույնիսկ արհեստավարժ լրագրողներն ունեն սխալվելու իրավունք, էլ չեմ ասում, որ բլոգում ընդհանրապես արհեստավարժության պահանջ դնել չի կարելի։

Իսկ համերգը լավն էր՝ չգիտեի, որ դու էլ ես եկել...
October 12, 2007 6:44 AM
onewmphoto said...
Funny, had I written about the same over-the-top and intimidating security at a government event we wouldn't even be having this discussion now.

Instead, Sksela members are naturally irked by something that non-Sksela members who attended the event on Sunday concurred with on my blog here.

No need to say any more, I think.
October 12, 2007 1:07 PM
Anonymous said...
Regarding security - free concerts attract all kinds of people because they are free. There are always people who simply enjoy making trouble, I sometimes think the only joy in their lives is having an argument (bazar) or a fight. Sksela had to have security. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Open concerts in republican square have police. You cannot compare the security sksela hired with police. The security even if some may argue was tough, simply did what they always do. They checked bags for knives. I agree it is unpleasant and not very nice experience. But they didn't scream or threaten anybody even when I saw somebody talking in a loud voice at them. They remain calmed and anwsered in a calm voice back. How many policeman would do that? Not in UK, in Armenia :)

At that some point there were four guys who were bothering a group of girls. A girl from sksela asked for a security guy to come forward after trying to calm down the boys herself, which did not work. I was watching the security guy curious about what he was going to do. He simply told the guys to sit down, and walked away.

Security did not allow people on the stage. Had it done so the crowd would block the only entrance/exit which was pretty close to the stage. That's just my opinion, which some skselas might not share.

Nessuna
October 12, 2007 4:35 PM

christina said...

To Onnik, Observer and Nessuna:

Guys, I'm extremely sorry for this mess:-( I was trying to clean up my dashboard and incidentally deleted the entry you've commented on, instead of the incomplete draft I had under the same title. I'm very sorry about this! I tried to make it up with a basic copy-paste.

Onnik, honestly, I was surprised this blog was discovered so soon:-) I did not not intend to engage in any discussion, and perhaps that was the reason why I posted in Armenian only (most heated discussions were in English and Russian;-)) I can see from your response that I don't need to provide a translation any longer:-)

Security was an issue. However, for me the bigger issue was the people... I was not intimidated by the presence or behavior of the guards (guess, after the first shock of seeing a huge number of them at the concerts of Red Hot Chilly Peppers, DMB and Pearl Jam I took their presence for granted. Maybe I shouldn't have given this particular context, but first, I wasn't even surprised), but those young people in the line. I've always considered rock fans in the post-Soviet area to be pioneers of freedom (won't venture into a long elaboration on whys) and my expectations have always been quite high. I've expected them to walk the talk, break the wall, not just shout they're willing to break the wall. Nowadays one of the 'walls' in Armenia in lack of empathy and social responsibility, respect for the rights of the others and realization of one's responsibilities.

I was standing in the line for about 20 minutes when a young beauty dashed forward with "Sorry, I'm with a foreigner". ??????????? So what????????? There was no air to breath. Any attempt to stand in a decent distance from the others, was quickly 'damaged' by youngsters trying to fit in the void...

One's free when he makes an effort to respect the freedom of the other...

So, the coin always has two sides...

I agree that perhaps Sksela could have demonstrated better organizational skills (e.g. line divisions would have prevented from the hassle), but hey, volunteering has one shortcoming: full commitment action-wise is practically impossible.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Volunteering? The concert is estimated to have cost a few thousand dollars and the security guards most certainly did not volunteer their services which makes their behaviour even worse.

Anyway, long and the short of it is that many, many people were pissed off with security at the event and as someone who comes from England who has been to many more events than you have I say again.

I have never experienced such rude, intimidating and unprofessional security at any event I've been to, in England or in Armenia. Not even government ones. Anyway, your blogging mishap deleted one of my comments in response to Nessuna so I include it below:

Nessuna, bravo for defending your beloved Sksela, and this is the point. It is only Sksela that is trying to defend itself. So far, not one person not linked to Sksela has been able to try to limit the damage from the security presence that was outrageous.

Now, about security, Nessuna, you’re right. You just can’t compare them to the police. As a journalist who has covered significantly more events or different varieties than you have, I can sat they don’t compare.

Firstly, considering the number of people attending an event in Republic Square compared to much less at Sksela, the security/police per capita was probably higher at your event.

They were also in your face, intimidating, rude and whatever else. As for the need for security, you are purposely missing the point. That’s fine. Have it, but not like it was or at least admit, that from what you’ve written in “defense” of Sksela now means that Yerevan police needs to be careful.

Therefore, after reading what you’ve read, it’s obvious. There needs to be a heavy police presence at all Sksela events and its members must be searched for knives. Anyway, nice try, but i think it just backfired on you.

However, I say again, from what I’ve seen of events in Armenia, Sksela security were worse than government security and seeing as the event was meant to be about “freedom” the irony is not lost on me.

tiramisù said...

Christina, just few things I meant to say but forgot.

1) thanks for sharing your thoughts on the concert.

2) your blog was discovered so soon because you linked to Onnik's post. Even when there is no trackback, statcounter allows to see how people got to your own blog (in this case your blog). BTW, it's fun and free too, so I suggest and register your blog with statcounter.com :) Do you still want to keep your blog kind of secret and for yourself or I can link to it?

christina said...

Nessuna (aka tiramisu, right;-)?),

Thanks a lot for the tip! You can guess I'm totally not tech savvy:-)

The blog is not 'hidden' really, otherwise I would have made it private. So, if you think it worth linking, you're welcome, but you've got know that I'm a dull lurker and rarely engage in discussions (at least this is my intention for now):-)