The Timid Steps Towards Valuing A Person

Nune Hakhverdyan

Art critic, journalist

In recent days, the news flow in Armenia is being formed by a few large news outlets, who have a long-standing tendency towards producing sensationalized news, and who inflame the fragile calm of the public, who through cautious steps are trying to establish themselves after the Velvet Revolution.

On April 5, during the parliamentary hearings on human rights in the National Assembly, transgender Lilit Martirosyan, who gave a three-minute speech about the rights of transgender citizens of the RA and the dangers about their general existence. It was unprecedented, for the first time from a high podium, the public saw a transgender person, who did not hide their gender and their concerns.

On April 2, RA Prime Minister’s wife Anna Hakobyan gave an interview to Voice of America, where she presented her “Women for Peace” campaign saying that “ the only meaning of this initiative is to protect the lives of soldiers and not just sacrificing them for the sake of nothing.”

Though these two speeches are different from each other, they have different public figures (everyone knows one, and the other was seen at the National Assembly for the first time), but in reality, they are about the same thing, valuing people.

Valuing people was that starting point from which the velvet revolution began, and that made it possible.

A year after the revolution, on April 9, the symbolic message of valuing a person caused a serious breakdown, when the RA Prime Minister became angry with an Armenian citizen (who was silent and unresponsive) and demanded to dismiss him from work (without having that authority),

The reason was not the man, but the flag, that is, the subject, which was considered as a more influential symbol.

Two days later, on April 11, from the high podium of the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia once again returned to the unmistakable media “weapon,” which is helping to convey human-centered public messages to humanity.

Speaking about the citizens of the Republic of Artsakh, he reminded the international community, “Man is more than any document.”

Also in the case when a person has a document from an unrecognized state.

The gentle solidarity or peace of the community is built slowly and regularly with repeated messages. And respect is one of the best messages towards an individual, who by going through public speeches in the media field (and vice versa), is able to form a society that values a more peaceful and harmonious environment.  

The Soviet years have taught us that the individual is nothing, and the collective is everything. Then, in independent Armenia, great goals and threats were constantly mentioned, which subordinated the individual, that is, the smaller one.  

The bigger one was the war, the blockade, the interests of larger nations, and so on.

And as long as they are big, we do not take into account the small (person).

For instance, let’s forget about Lilit Martirosyan’s person, and go to larger points using theological, terrorist, “national” rhetoric.

And then, from the position of that terroristic and allegedly large position, we subject one individual to a stigma, using the whole media arsenal and political potential.

We criticize Anna Hakobyan’s peaceful idea, the basis of which is “nothing,” if it is faceless and not personalized.

We are wondering how that customs officer, who appeared before the Prime Minister’s camera as a silent target, will live.

Now is the historical stage when it is possible to put the whole structure of public peace on a stronger (perhaps the only solid) foundation, the value of one person.

Moreover, a person may either be a citizen of an unrecognized republic or a representative of an “unrecognized” orientation or unrecognized altogether.

The revolution of accepting and valuing the unrecognizable, strange, stranger, is called “velvet.”

Nune Hakhverdyan

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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