We Are Our Mountains
"We and Our Mountains" (Armenian: Մենք ենք, մեր սարերը, Menk' enk' mer sarerə) is a large monument north of Stepanakert, the capital city of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan.
The sculpture, completed in 1967 by Sargis Baghdasaryan, is widely regarded as a symbol of the Armenian heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh. The monument is made from volcanic tufa, and depicts an old man and woman hewn from rock, representing the mountain people of Karabakh. It is also known as "tatik-papik" (տատիկ-պապիկ) in Armenian, and it is translated as "Grandma and Grandpa". The sculpture is prominent in Nagorno-Karabakh's coat of arms.
Eurovision image controversy
The use of the monument during a video clip preceding a performance at Eurovision Song Contest 2009 was the first of several political conflicts during the competition surrounding Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict stemmed from an introductory "postcard" video played before Armenia's performance in a semi-final round, which depicted the monument alongside other symbols of Armenia. Representatives from Azerbaijan complained to the European Broadcasting Union about the use of "We and Our Mountains" in the Armenian intro, since Nagorno-Karabakh is a de jure part of Azerbaijan. In response to the complaint, the image was edited out of the video in the finals. However, Armenia would retaliate for the decision by including multiple images of the monument in its voting presentation—on a video screen in the background, and on the back of Sirusho's clipboard.
- Nicholas Holding, Armenia with Nagorno Karabagh, 2nd ed. (London: Bradt, 2006; ISBN 1-84162-163-3), p.210.
- Coat of Arms
- Deasy, Kristin (2009-05-15). "Eurovision: A Melting-Pot Contest, Where Native Doesn't Always Mean Best". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- Krikorian, Onnik (2009-05-16). "Ethnic rivalry wins over kitsch in the Caucasus". Frontline Club. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
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