Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Analysis: Nationalism and Sexuality in Modern Armenian Discourse

Good analysis by Marine Margaryan of PINK Armenia and Tamar Shirinian, PhD candidate in cultural anthropology. Few quotes below. For article in full: read Hetq Online (Armenian, English)

[re: DIY firebombing and attack on Diversity march] “If we comprehensively analyze this situation and the details of the events of the past year and the concrete incidents that took place, it becomes clear that the root of the problem is not nationalist organizations or their work in opposition toward LGBT people. Rather, we can consider these organizations as tools - mechanisms of a larger chain which are directed towards the public to strengthen the discourse of the authorities. Furthermore, LGBT issues have never been in this kind of agenda within our public before, and this is the result of the problem’s artificial escalation. The manipulation of LGBT issues through nationalist forces acts as one of a few mechanisms, through which authorities mobilize public, which is then naturally used to establish and secure power.”

“When public attention is focused on LGBT issues, authorities can guarantee that it will be able to distract away from dangerous topics and take social discourse toward their desired directions. It must be noted that this technique used by the state is not a new one. The target group being used can change.”

“Here we can cite Kagarlitsky (2006) who argues that fascism as an ideology comes about at a time when it is possible to create an illusion for the masses that they can solve poor social conditions by subjecting themselves to nationalist prejudice.”

[re: cancelling Parada film screening] “The discussion around LGBT issues in this manner creates a problem not only for human rights defenders, activists and anybody who advocates for LGBT peoples’ rights but also for international organizations who cannot even find a space to show a film. This should indicate to all of the various institutions that provide support to Armenia, financial and otherwise, for promoting democracy and human rights reforms to properly monitor the state’s actions, otherwise the work done by international organizations can be considered inconsistent and ineffective.”

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