We Are Our Mountains
We Are Our Mountains (Armenian: Մենք ենք մեր լեռները, Menk' enk' mer leṙnerə) is a large monument north of Stepanakert, the capital city of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan. The sculpture, completed in 1967 by Sargis Baghdasaryan, is widely regarded as a symbol of the Armenian heritage of the region. 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, which translates as "Grandmother and Grandfather". The sculpture is prominent in Artsakh'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 Are Our Mountains" in the Armenian intro, since the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is de jure part of Azerbaijan. In response to the complaint, the image was edited out of the video in the finals. However, Armenia retaliated 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 their spokesperson Sirusho's clipboard.
In popular culture
This monument is featured in the artwork of the songs "Protect the Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz" of the Armenian-American band System of a Down to draw attention to the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war.
- 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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Krikorian, Onnik (2009-05-16). "Ethnic rivalry wins over kitsch in the Caucasus". Frontline Club. Retrieved 2008-09-17. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Hear System of a Down's First New Music in 15 Years, 'Protect the Land' and 'Genocidal Humanoidz'". Rolling Stone. 6 November 2020. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- Media related to We Are Our Mountains at Wikimedia Commons