“I always wanted to make a film like this,” confesses the writer and columnist Tigran Paskevichyan, “but I only got the chance when Eurasia provided me and everyone in this country an opportunity to ponder such ideas as individual freedom, traditions and choices, visible and invisible boundaries. In other words, freedom of expression at large.” Tigran wrote the screenplay for Suren Ter-Grigoryan’s documentary, Infiltration, commissioned by Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF).
The right to Freedom of Expression (FoE) is guaranteed in the Armenian Constitution, but a clear understanding of what FoE is is practically absent here. EPF, with the support of the British Government and USAID, is implementing a project which tries to address complex issues related to FoE: what are citizens “allowed” to say? What is considered acceptable expression, including in work and family life? EPF seeks to examine, question, and push these boundaries. The project includes qualitative research on FoE and censorship, production of six documentaries, and a series of talk shows on Yerkir Media TV.
Tigran’s documentary is one of six commissioned by EPF as part of the project (the films were selected for funding through an open competition). The films all attempt to address boundaries and taboos that exist in Armenian society: those written or unwritten codes that predominate over individuals, affecting their lives and choices, such as self-censorship and conformism, traditional values and resistance.
The project’s talk show, Article 27: the Right to Freedom of Ex-pression, begins each episode by showing a local or foreign documentary on one aspect of FoE (five of the documentaries produced as part of the project will be shown). Then, journalists, policy makers, professors, and NGO and civil society rep-resentatives discuss the film, focusing on what the public can do to change conditions so that the right to Freedom of Expression is upheld. Audience tracking has shown that these talk shows have been viewed by at least 3,000 people each, and more than 50 have left comments by email, phone, or online.
“I intend not to stop here,” says Tigran. “I plan to screen my film in other venues, to extend the discussion as far as possible. Eurasia boosted the FoE discourse in Armenia, and now we should move it forward.”
12 June 2012
The “Forum for 21st Century Leaders” NGO from Armenia along with its partner “The Earth Association” in Turkey organized a workshop in Aghveran, Armenia on May 28-30, 2012 that brought together 12 young environmentalists from a number of civic initiatives and organizations in Turkey and Armenia.
08 June 2012
As part of the “Sweet Confusion – Sweet Sixties” project, the National Association of Art Critics (AICA Armenia), together with Anadolu Kültür, National Armenian Cinema Center, Armenia Turkey Cinema Platform and tranzit.at, will hold screenings of a number of Armenian and Turkish films and a cinema and cultural critics’ conference on June 11-13 in Nairi Cinema in Yerevan.