Azerbaijan Film Festival in Yerevan Sparks Hatred and Xenophobia
A film festival of Azerbaijani films to be screened in Yerevan from Nov. 2–4 has attracted numerous hateful comments and debates on the Facebook event page since it was put up a few days ago.
The Facebook event page was created by local writer and activist Lusine Vayachyan; Georgi Vanyan, chair of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Center for Peace-Making Initiatives (CCPR), is the organizer of the actual event. However, hateful comments have been directed at both individuals. A few commenters have noted that they will gathering a crowd to protest on the festival opening day.
In addition, one commenter, Garegin Hambardzumyan, has asked others to “report” the event to Facebook (an option available for events, pages, etc. on Facebook that are considered to be racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist and in other ways discriminatory). A few have noted that they have already reported the event — for what reason though, it is unclear.
It’s necessary to note, however, that some comments are more positive, asking others not to be so indignant, since the festival is a means of “becoming familiar with another nation’s culture.”
Writer-publicist Hrant Ter-Abrahamyan, speaking to Epress.am today, said that he won’t be going to the festival because it “simply doesn’t interest” him. In his opinion, there are many more interesting things in the world than Azerbaijani films.
“A film is a film, that filmed by a Turk could also be good; national identity doesn’t matter here. But it’s also obvious that this event is related not as much to art essentially as it is to propaganda and politics. Otherwise, let there have been a festival of Georgian films,” he said.
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