On the Crime of Being a Peace Activist
October 12, 2016
Time: 19:00 to 20:30
Location: Bucerius Law School, U.56
- Georgi Vanyan, Armenian film director and peace activist
- Valerij Tomarenko, translation
- Birte Schlottmann (Amnesty International Student Group Bucerius Law School), moderation
The Nagorno-Karabakh region of the South Caucasus emerged as a disputed territory following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia lay claim to the landlocked area inhabited primarily by Armenians, but which had originally belonged to Azerbaijan. Several million people have been displaced by military conflict in the region and some 40,000 have lost their lives. Even today, the conflict over the territory remains unresolved with several attempts at mediation by the United Nations Security Council having failed.
The son of Armenian parents, film director and peace activist Georgi Vanyan was born in Azerbaijan in 1963. Driven by a desire to see the conflict resolved peacefully, he left home to get involved in the crisis region as a mediator and promotor of peace. The result of his endeavors can be seen in nearby Tekali (Georgia), which has become a trans-regional center for peace and mediation with artists, activist and journalists gathering regularly to exchange. Due to his efforts, Vanyan has received numerous death threats and been publicly vilified as a traitor. A film festival that he organized in 2012 to screen Azerbaijani works had to be canceled due to safety concerns. Since being taken into the program Parlamentarier schützen Parlamentarier (Parlamentarians Protecting Parlamentarians), an effort of the Human Rights Committee of the German Parliament, in 2013, attacks on his house and person have increased. Vanyan has been a guest of the Hamburg Foundation for the Politically Persecuted since 2016.
The lecture will be translated from Russian into English.