Thursday 27 February 2014

How homophobic posters turn into anti-homophobia message in Yerevan

Some active citizens cleverly turn homophobic posters in Yerevan streets into ones with anti-homophobia message.

The original poster (in Armenian) reads: “Say no to homosexuality”, while transformed one by overwriting part of it - "Say no to homophobia”.

 Another example of transformation (below) totally changing the original meaning :))

For more on the topic and some previous examples of targeting homophobic posters in Yerevan, read:

Homophobic posters in Yerevan, Armenia

Keep Yerevan clean of hate garbage - social ad by ArmComedy

"One Love" against homophobia and hatred - action in Yerevan

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Yerevan diaries: Anecdote, Grindr and more :))

Few light-hearted stories and observations from Yerevan.

Let’s start with a joke that made me burst into laughing. (you have to know Armenian to get it)

Հայկը Բելին մի նետով սպանեց [կարդալ “մինետով”]

This follows by remark (in translit using Russian letters):

шат нетагргир а

A female teacher at one of Yerevan universities, to make her point stronger (or so she hopes), regularly swears in front of her students on something apparently very sacred to her: “I swear on my virginity” (“Клянусь своей девственностью”) 

Just to clarify, this is not a joke, this happens for real.

As Grindr is getting more popular in Armenia, so are the stories associated with its use. This one is about those users who are soliciting money for sex.

Apparently, when you use Grindr in Armenia, you frequently get asked: “local?”

Depending on your answer, you may hear different offers from the same person: 1. if you answered “yes” (i.e. you are local), you may get offer for sex for say 5-10K AMD; 2. if your answer is “no” (i.e. you are foreigner) - expect much higher price for sex: e.g. 200 US dollars or… iPhone.

...and finally.

This composition at Yerevan Cascade is dubbed “Artush and Zaur”.

[for background re “Artush and Zaur", the book, check relevant label on this blog]

Thursday 6 February 2014

British Council Armenia continues shameful collaboration with homophobic media

This seems like a deja vu.
"British Film Festival 12th Edition is organised by the British Council with the support of the British Embassy Yerevan, UNICEF and ArmenTel (brand name Beeline). In addition to showcasing the best of the British film industry of the recent years, training and competitions will be organised. […]
The information partners of the 12th British Film Festival are H2 TV station, Dar21 TV station, Laym TV station, Yerkir Media TV station, Shoghakat TV station, Civilnet, Public Radio, Radio Van, Radio Hay, Armradio FM 107 and,,"

The history of pretty close relationship between British Council in Armenia (more of their local staff) with the homophobic radio Van station was exposed by this blog back in 2010 [‘Champion of equality’ British Council Armenia sponsors homophobic radio station in Yerevan]. It took efforts for the former British ambassador in Armenia to make essential steps at damage control. And here we are again.

Only last week it was revealed that head of the radio Van station Shushanik is a member (“friends”) of “Griboedov” club in Yerevan, established by notorious “burn gay hearts” Putin propagandist Dmitry Kiselev. Indeed, Shushanik's utterly homophobic views earned Radio Van their place in Armenia: Homophobia Hall of Shame.

Not to mention some other questionable, to say the least, choices by the British Council Armenia, such as Yerkir Media TV, nationalist ARF Dashnaktsutyun outlet that was instrumental in instigating hatred towards gay friendly DIY bar firebombed in Armenia capital in 2012.

Ironically, festival’s web page mentions that “12th Edition dedicated to Inclusion and Communication”.

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Armenian lesbian matchmaker to the straights kicks off season 2 with a serious message

Very special first episode of season 2 by Lousine Shamamian, Armenian lesbian matchmaker to the straights: “Dedicated to all people who have been judged, victimised or rejected for their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The day for firsts is here. Sonya's first wool beating and Lousine's first entirely honest conversation with her mother.
Big part of the episode is in Armenian (with English subtitles). Must watch.

For the very first episode of Lousine's hilarious show - see here.

Love x