Talk at Chamber of Environmental Engineers
On the 7th of March, 2015 Sofia Manukyan gave a talk at Chamber of Environmental Engineers (Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects). She was invited to speak about shale gas and possible negative impacts on human rights caused by its extraction. She spoke about the extraction and negative experiences in various states in the U.S.A., after which she explained the human rights that are violated as a result. Additionally, she spoke about the global opposition to the method through which shale gas is extracted and finally she spoke about the current situation of shale gas exploration in Turkey.
This topic is closely related to Sofia’s current research carried out at Istanbul Bilgi University as Hrant Dink Foundation’s fellow. She is researching the situation of energy and natural resources in Turkey and Armenia and the human rights that are violated as a result of bad governance in the energy sector.
Gender and Memory Tour at Istiklal Street
The gender and memory tour organized by Karakutu Association and Sabancı University Gender Forum was a very unique experience. Istiklal Street is so busy and noisy nowadays that sometimes you see the buildings as an identical line. Taking part in the tour made us stop for a moment and look inside some historical buildings not in the sense of their appearance, but revealing the memory they keep.”
Women’s Rights Day in Yerevan with Capoeira
After having spent about four months of my fellowship in Armenia trying to implement socio physical capoeira activities to empower women and encourage them to confront adversity and problems with tools of dialogue and inclusion, the group of women staged a public demonstration on 8 of March, International Women’s Rights Day in Yerevan.
Out of more than 35 beneficiaries of the capoeira activities, 6 of those women courageously accompanied me to showcase the outcomes of a long work on body dialogue. I was amazed by the bravery of each of those women who stood and showed what they had inside them to give to the world that day. While dancing and singing, women of the group showed how each human being can combine fight with respect, turn aggression into game, and claim dignity with humour.
Lecture on Kars
On the 25thof March, Candan Badem gave a lecture on Kars province under Russian rule (1878-1918) at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences. There was also question answer session from colleagues of the institute. Candan was told that this was the first time a Turkish historian spoke at the Institute.
Easter at Gedikpaşa Armenian School
A week before Easter (on March 29) the youth from Levon Vartuhyan school association together with UTI social organization group organized an unforgettable day for children from Gedikpasa Armenian school after Hrant Dink at Bezdjiyan Center. I was happily engaged in helping with the organization of the day. After a modernised version of Hovhannes Toumanyan’s “Dog and Cat”, which was artistically and skillfully performed by the children, a dinner followed. Later children started painting Easter eggs,which was then followed by games and music. The day was indeed full of joy for kids and for everyone engaged. It turned out this has been one among series of such activities, which means actions are taking place nowadays that bring the Armenians of İstanbul closer to Armenians from Armenia, especially those who stay in Istanbul for long time and their children attend unofficial school after Hrant Dink. On my behalf I would like to send big thanks to the organizers for such a wonderful initiative that brings Armenians closer to each other.
Video Art from Armenia and Turkey
AOrganized within the scope of the program Artists’ Film International 2014-2015, an exhibition and program dedicated to contemporary video art by featuring moving images, animations, and films of visual artists all around the world, the event looks at the artistic issues shared by two neighboring countries through videos produced since 2000 by 6 artists of different generations from Turkey and Armenia (Gülsün Karamustafa and Tigran Khachatryan, Ovsanna Shekoyan and Ali Kazma, Sefer Memişoğlu and Diana Hakobyan).
Aiming to enable encounters on three different levels among the videos screened under the heading “Motifs vs Themes vs Attitudes”, Seda Shekoyan explores the relationship between art and reality. A theme (personal and political histories, collective memory, labour, nature and culture, revolutionary past, etc.) offers shared content whereas a motif as an element provides a starting point for many questions and discussions. Attitudes constitute a space of encounter, pointing to Armenia and Turkey’s common past, their present and their possibly intertwined futures.