Robert Guédiguian, Simon Abkarian, André Manoukian on the French side, but also, outside our borders, Kim Kardashian and the international footballer Henrikh Mkhitaryan are committed to the Armenian civilian populations and to the recognition of Artsakh.
On September 27, Turkey-backed Azerbaijan launched a military offensive against the pro-independence province of Nagorno-Karabakh, which its inhabitants, as well as Yerevan, renamed Artsakh, a very old name dating back to the Kingdom of Armenia. Since then, the war has raged, the truce negotiated on October 10 is constantly broken and the deaths number in the hundreds in each camp, the civilian populations not being spared.
Yerevan, Artsakh leaders and many voices in the diaspora are calling on the international community to intervene in order to prevent a conflagration and carnage that would bring back sinister memories to Armenians. The province, attached to Azerbaijan by Stalin in 1921, proclaimed its independence in 1991. After a first war which left 30,000 dead in the 90s, many personalities of Armenian origin rose up in France to call Paris to recognize Artsakh, a strong gesture that would give an international signal. This is the goal of a rally organized by the Armenian community on Tuesday, October 13 at the end of the afternoon in Paris, in front of the National Assembly.
On October 5, André Manoukian, pianist and television man, posted via social networks a letter addressed directly to the strong man of Ankara, Recep Erdoğan, Baku’s claimed ally in the conflict, and to which the French artist grants the first role in this crisis. A message between irony and weariness, directly referring to the genocide of the Armenians of 1915, under the Ottoman Empire, and to the goods, properties and lands lost, in addition to the human victims: “Dear Sir, My grandparents, having had to leave Amasya in a hurry in April 1915, could not take the family piano with them. Could you please have it delivered to the following address: Poste restante de Stepanakert, capital of Artsakh, historical cradle of Armenia. It seems that Mr. Aliev has more difficulty getting rid of a handful of Armenians than your glorious ancestors, who, it is true, had in front of you. them than women, children and unarmed men. “ A missive in which André Manoukian, in “care bears from the left”, expresses hope to drink “together a good Turkish, Greek, Armenian coffee, whatever, a good Sourdj what, history of celebrating together the peace found between our peoples …” And to conclude: “Don’t you want to leave my people alone once and for all?”
Leaving to guess a cold, old anger, Simon Abkarian, actor and man of the theater, expressed himself in a strong message, imbued with lyricism, published on the ScèneWeb site. Speaking first of all about his plan to launch an international theater festival in Yerevan, the multi-faceted playwright Molière spoke at length about Recep Erdoğan and the reflex “genocidal” of a Turkish political class whose “patriotism has turned into fascist nationalism”. The plans of the Turkish leader leave him little illusion: “Of course, Erdoğan denies being the instigator of this war. Denial is a major weapon in the history of Turkish diplomacy. But the strong man of Ankara is stronger than his predecessors, he denies the crime to come even before having committed it. ‘Turkey will be alongside its Azeri brothers’. It means : ‘We are going to finish the work of 1915’. “
Implicitly inviting France to “s’interposer”, Simon Abkarian rejected the term “separatists” used regularly to describe the inhabitants of the province at war, recalling a centuries-old Armenian history: “No, we are not separatists, we are our rivers, our rivers, our plains, our forests and our mountains and want to live in peace. And you, friends of the West, open your books and go upstream. great history; since ancient times, Armenia is on all maps and in many accounts. Azerbaijan forcibly slipped in in 1918, even the Coca-Cola drink is older than it. “
French director Robert Guediguian called on October 6 for a boycott, especially economic, of the countries engaged against the Armenians of Artsakh: “Human humans must prevent inhuman humans from rampant. It is a categorical imperative … how? By quarantining them, by isolating them economically, militarily, technologically … and also by supporting internal oppositions to these inhuman … because we must not forget that the victims of these criminals are not only the Armenians, they are also the Turks, the Kurds and the imprisoned Azeris and even the mercenaries who have no other job than that of killing to feed their families … It’s simple and yet Western democracies do not. “
Outside French borders, Armenian personalities with international influence quickly showed their support for the civilian populations of Artsakh and Armenia affected or threatened by war. Since the beginning of the conflict, Armenian international footballer Henrikh Mkhitaryan has called on social networks for the end of the fighting and called on leaders like Emmanuel Macron, Vladimir Poutin and Donald Trump to act for peace.
— Henrikh Mkhitaryan (@HenrikhMkh) October 6, 2020
As for the artists, the famous pianist Tigran Hamasyan relays like his compatriot the news coming from Armenia and Artsakh. On September 29, he pointed out on Facebook “Azerbaijan supported by Turkey” as responsible for “aggression” targeting Artsakh, deploring the choice of “violence” by a country “indoctrinated”, with the consequence “the death of young soldiers in both camps”. The invites its subscribers to participate in an online fundraiser to support the families of fallen Armenian soldiers.
Finally, Kim Kardashian West, businesswoman and American media personality of Armenian origin with some 220 million subscribers (Instagram and Facebook included), posted on Saturday October 11 a strong message in a video of support for the Armenian populations affected by the war. She announced a donation of one million dollars to the non-governmental organization Armenia Fund based in California, for humanitarian aid, calling on its subscribers to participate in the measure of their means. “My thoughts and prayers are with the brave men, women and children. I want everyone to remember that despite the distances between us, we are not limited by borders and together we form a comprehensive Armenian Nation. “
Logically, such a strong commitment on the part of a world-famous personality is disturbing. On the side of Azerbaijani artists leading international careers, support for Baku is essential, as the Instagram account of tenor Yusif Eyvasov, husband of famous soprano Anna Netrebko indicates. In recent days he has expressed fervently his love for his country, accused the Armenians of bomb civilians and relayed the hashtags #KardashiansSupportTerrorism and #StopArmenianAgression.
In recent days, famous non-Armenian artists have called for an end to the war, some spontaneously evoking their attachment to Armenia. On October 6, rock singer Peter Gabriel, who has been an active human rights activist for decades, posted a message expressing his ties to the Armenian people, referring to the 1915 tragedy and calling for pressure to be put on the authorities. international organizations and political classes in all countries so that they get involved in this crisis: “It was the magic of the duduk, perhaps the most expressive instrument in the world, that introduced me to Armenia”, explains the British star in the preamble before worrying, in the last lines of his post, of “reports that President Erdoğan lined up 80,000 troops along the Armenian border”, a “terrifying prospect, filled with dark echoes of history”.
Its publication was taken by storm by a multitude of pro-Azeri and pro-Turkish accounts, a common practice on social networks on the part of those countries held by authoritarian regimes and where exacerbated nationalism has developed. But the singer of Sledgehammer, used to virulent reactions to some of his positions, did not flinch.
This is not the case with other stars, who are less seasoned when it comes to dealing with this type of flow. On October 5, Elton John posted on Instagram a post very favorable to Armenians (relayed in France on Twitter) accompanied by a red square symbol of its support. He supplemented it with a message naming Azerbaijan and Turkey as responsible for the outbreak of the fighting and the hashtag #PeaceForArmenians. A few hours later, the English singer backed down. He transformed his post into a neutral message of peace, without favoring any side, and the “Peace and Love” logo replaced the red square …
As for the American rapper Cardi B, she has apologized on several occasions, on Twitter, for relaying a call for funds on the networks of the organization Armenia Fund in favor of populations affected by war. Accused of “support terrorism” through pro-Azerbaijan accounts on Twitter, the young woman explained that she had “not researched” before sharing a friend’s post on Instagram (post deleted from): “Shut up … I don’t support terrorism (…) I’m sorry (…) I don’t like conflicts between two countries, period, because I hate to see innocent people affected”, she replied on October 6 to an Azerie.
Stfu I don’t support terrorism.I literally posted it for my friend with out doing no research on what’s going on .Im sorry about that .I don’t like war .I don’t like conflicts between two countries period cause I hate innocent people being affected by it. https://t.co/VcogVfJZCg
– iamcardib (@iamcardib) October 6, 2020
On October 6 and 7, Carde B multiplied the tweets of apologies and explanations, supporting audio messages, this time arousing the anger of pro-Armenian internet users … “I don’t know what to believe! One side tells me something, then another side tells me something else, I just want peace! I don’t want people to die! Why do you keep harassing me when I Apologized a million times? I don’t know !! I DON’T KNOW, P …! Good night! “