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Anna Barseghyan
July 16, 2009
Farewell to Arms:
By Anna Barseghyan
Farewell to Arms:

Every Saturday the “Farewell to Arms: from Belfast to Balkans” film-series have been screened at the hall of Internews Armenia NGO office, then at the Narekatsi Art Union since May 27. The films have been created through partnership of Yerevan and Baku offices of Internews and with the support of the British Embassy in Armenia.

“Six films on six European conflicts and the ways of their solution have been created by a joint effort of Internews representatives in Armenia and Azerbaijan within the framework of this project,” says Nouneh Sarkissian, the executive director of Yerevan Internews office. The films are about the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Southern Tirol, as well as in Cyprus and Aland Islands.

According to Sarkissyan the film authors have tried to represent the conflicts in eyes of those people who are directly linked or are victims of those conflicts. Director Tigran Paskevichyan has shot the film “Ordinary Utopia” on the Basque conflict within the framework of this project.

“Basque country is one out of 17 sovereignties of Spain. Like Russia, once considered as multinational Soviet Union, Galicia, Catalonia, Gascony and others usually are integrated within one general name – Spain,” clarifies Paskevichyan. According to the director the Basque conflict has a similarity with the Karabagh one – in both cases national sovereignty is struggled for.

“All this, however, seems to be meaningless, as today's political, social-economic, cultural relations between the Basque country and Madrid don't somehow threaten the Basque ethnos existence,” says Paskevichyan. Film on Aland Islands has been called “Islands of Luck” for the simple reason the residents of Aland Islands could use the Sweden-Finnish conflict for their own sake.

“This was an “easy” conflict as compared with the others. Thanks to the developed civilization these two countries could peacefully solve the problems. They live a peaceful and comfortable life. It turns out that Finland Government has bought them,” says the authors of this film Artyem Yerkanyan smiling. Director Levon Kalantar has produced the film “Between Pain and Hope” on Bosnia and “On the Verge of Trust” on Northern Ireland. He says that there is nothing general between the Aland Islands and Karabagh conflicts.“In the case of the Aland Islands there was neither bloodshed, nor violence. One should learn a lesson from this conflict and understand that sometimes their experience could be used in our country,” says Kalantar. According to him this is a matter of politeness.

“I don’t want to say we are impolite, however we drop behind from the point of view of politeness. The events are referred to in a different way by an Armenian or by a Caucasian rather than by our Sweden or Finnish neighbors: we flare up, take arms, whereas the problems are solved quite differently in Europe. Though the same can’t be said for Bosnia, where people were assassinated at daytime, all this being watched silently by Europe,” says Levon Kalantar.

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