March One Was Some Kind Of Sieve

12:00:03 – 11/08/2009

Interview by Siranuysh Papyan

-In your opinion, what is intelligentsia? What is the civil stance
of the intelligentsia today?

-The word intelligentsia sounds very pathetic. When people are defined
as intellectuals, I always see some negative nuance. Intellectuals
are to be people whose stances are determined by the problems of the
society, the look of which is directed towards the society and who
struggle for civil freedom, who show the reality unlike those who are
said to be intellectuals, but who say, "you know we understand that
this is good, this is bad" but do not do anything. The great part
of this kind of intellectuals abandoned people at the most difficult
moment of their life.

-How many are those intellectuals who struggle?

-Before speaking about today’s situation, one must not forget March
1. At least for me March 1 is one of the crucial points in Armenia’s
reality. The movement, which started on February 19 and reached its
peak on March 1, showed people that they are not few, but those,
who bear civil principles are many, who are ready to struggle for
ideas. When my friends and I were going to rallies, we were afraid
not to find many people, who think as we do. But we found out that we
have a society with great potential. March one was some kind of sieve,
which revealed the essence of everyone. Those people, who state that
we have huge democratic problems in our country and that we have
political prisoners, are evident not to look for a soft pillow. And
those, who say that Levon Ter-Petrosyan is not an intellectual but
instead Gagik Beglaryan is an intellectual, surely look for a soft
pillow and are ready to serve any government.

-The artist-elders say that they have come to bring up issues from
inside. They also say that they have oppositional ideas.

-You know it is just a joke of words, because there is not half
opposition in politics, you are either opposition or you are not. A
bright example is the Dashnaktsutyun, which was a part of the coalition
and is not opposition out of it. In general, I can say that there
are two oppositions today, the HAK and the Heritage. I do not see any
other such strong opposition. There is the main vector of the power,
which is the Republican, and there are other artificial simulative
forces like the OYP, the Bargavach Hayastan, which do not differ
from the Republican party. And of course, the so-called artist-elders
cannot solve any issue because if you are in the political field you
have to perform as a political figure and you do not need the mask
of an intellectual.

-In other words, political figures have to be engaged in politics
and the artist in the art.

-I do not mean it. The City Hall is a clear political field, in my
opinion it is wrong to present there as an intellectual.

-After all, which is the reason why the Republican decided to include
them in its rows? Was there any question of representation?

-I cannot be sure. Probably, Beglaryan’s approach was to hold the
electoral campaign with the artists to create some imitation of
intellectuality, because there is a stereotype that a "good guy from
Yerevan" needs to have artist friends. This is some kind of tradition.

It is not important for me whether Beglaryan or someone else will be
the mayor; the important for me is what mechanism they will use. Our
mechanism is very bad. This is a tired system; I connect your question
with system changes rather than with persons.

-Do you believe the HAK affirmation that we will have extraordinary
presidential elections? On the other hand, many dwell on the fact
that the HAK has weakened.

-I think we will have neither extraordinary presidential election nor
parliamentary elections. We need serious preconditions for it, which
lack today. No tension is felt today among the public. I connect the
changes in the countries with economic changes. What was happening
a year ago was really a national movement. Today I do not think we
have the same. Today people got adapted and I do not see the tension,
which will give birth to shift of government.

-In what country do we live?

-We live in a corrupt, nomenclature system. I would like to say even
dictatorial country, because the dictatorship supposes for some
principles at least, but unfortunately, we live in a nomenclature
system, which is a lower structure, than the dictatorship.
From: Baghdasarian