Thursday, October 18, 2012

Yerevan Screening of Serbian Film on LGBT Rights Cancelled AGAIN

Sometimes it seems that it takes years for things to happen in Armenia, while other times things develop so quickly that if you blinked you just might miss the latest development.

One of these developments is the screening of an apparently controversial film called Parada, an “internationally acclaimed Serbian drama dealing with the delicate subject of LGBT rights,” according to an Oct. 15, 2012 press release issued by the EU Delegation in Armenia and the Germany Embassy in Yerevan, which planned on screening the film on Oct. 17 and 18 at Congress Hotel in Yerevan.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Reminiscing... Brazilian Music in Yerevan

Today, I remembered a woman in Armenia I met many, many years ago — young, beautiful, and married to a man slightly older than herself with a beer belly like those of so many men you see in Armenia today. I don't remember how I met this woman, but she was a friend of a friend (I had probably been delivering a parcel to her from an acquaintance in Canada) and after she, her husband, and another young married couple (friends of theirs) took me in their car to some green space outside the city to have khorovats (BBQ — unfortunately, meat, which I did not eat), she welcomed me into her home. 

It was the only moment the two of us were alone and I saw a different side of her — a side that was more passionate than was apparent when she was in the company of her husband and their friends. She took me to a corner of her living room where she had a stereo and played a song by a Brazilian artist. She then confessed her love of Brazilian music and asked me about my musical tastes. The soft melody — which, when I recall this scene years later, reminds me of Bebel Gilberto — in particular, the song "Preciso Dizer Que Te Amo" — in that small Yerevan flat after a boisterous khorovats party took me by surprise. I have since realized that we all create a little corner of the world for ourselves and sometimes that little corner is quite different from the physical place we find ourselves in.

Though I think it's important to "live in the present," I find that sometimes conditions force us to cherish a different present than the one we are currently living — a sad melody that is a reflection of our lives much like the Brazilian music I heard that day.