Invited by the Tufenkian Foundation, world renown Armenian artists Serj Tankian, Arsinée Khanjian, Atom Egoyan and Eric Nazarian, together with other representatives of the Armenian Diaspora, visited Artsakh during April 3-6 with the mission to get to know the people, learn about their lives and explore the work of the Foundation in the embattled territories of Artsakh.
During their visit, our guests met with the President of the Republic of Artsakh, visited the newly renovated house of a soldier wounded in the war, met and talked to the local youth and artists, visited soldiers serving on the frontlines and participated in the opening of 6 new houses in the Arajamough village.
On April 4, during the press-conference in Stepanakert, Serj Tankian, Arsinée Khanjian, Atom Egoyan and Eric Nazarian called the artists of the world to visit Artsakh and cooperate with the local talented youth. Here is the full text of the call.
One year ago, during this exact time, the line of contact of the Artsakh conflict erupted once again when Azerbaijani armed forces, with a sudden attack, fired not only against the frontline, but also on peaceful residences, schools and the unarmed population. The Armenian forces, however, for yet another time, with self-defense activities, stopped this Azerbaijani aggression, the only results of which were the human and material losses for both sides.
Since 1988, or since the day the people of Artsakh or Nagorno-Karabakh, by respecting the spirit and the letter of Soviet and International laws, decided to determine their own fate and exercised their right to self-determination, Azerbaijan responded with pogroms, forced deportations, attacks and wide-scale military operations.
Despite the fact that the international community, due to various reasons, has not yet recognized the state of Artsakh, the offspring of the people who have lived on these lands for thousands of years continue to create and invent, build and prosper even as the Azerbaijani attacks, bomb explosions and shootings do not cease along the borders of Artsakh. Here, on these historic lands, where news about cease-fire violations, injuries and deaths are more common than any other information, thousands of children and youth are deprived of their right to create, since the country remains blockaded and the cease-fire, fragile. Thousands of talented people, instead of picking up pens and paint brushes, are forced to take up arms and go to the frontline in order to protect their home and moderland. Due to the Azerbaijani attacks and this forced war, these young people are deprived of their right to create and hone their talents in peace. Thousands of children living in border regions hear the sounds of exploding bombs and shootings instead of listening to music in schools.
But despite all this, numerous are young talents and artists who continue to write, create, make music and paint, even when they are isolated from the world due to the war and live under a blockade. Unfortunately, they have little opportunity to come in contact with their colleagues from around the world and this blockade and isolation hinder regular visits, contacts and exchange of experiences. For these creative minds and talented people, opportunities to open up to the world and meet others in their field are limited. They are simply deprived of these vital rights for artists.
This is why we call on all the free-thinking artists around the world to visit Artsakh and become allies for peace and harmony, to establish ties and build connections with local artists and talented creatives and support them to open up to the world and exercise their universal right to create in peace and share their art with the world.
To read the call in Western Armenian, go to http://www.tufenkianfoundation.org/news/կոչ-աշխարհի-արուեստագէտներուն