War v. Art: Singers call for boycott of Eurovision in Baku

War v. Art: Singers call for boycott of Eurovision in Baku

A group of popular singers of Armenian showbiz released a statement on Thursday calling for a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, which will take place in Baku.

“We refuse to perform in a country that is notorious for its mass killings and massacres of Armenians, a country where anti-Armenian sentiment is part of state policy, a country where ethnic Armenians are denied entry, even if they are citizens of other countries, and this happens almost every month,” the statement reads.

Songwriter Artur Grigoryan, head of the State Theater of Song, says that about 18 singers (Nune Yesayan, Hayko, Andre, Nadezhda Sargsyan, Emmy, Artur Ispiryan, and others) have signed the statement.

“It is impossible to sing in a country where we have hostages, where snipers follow our soldiers every day and kill them. Nobody must gain self-esteem at such expense,” Grigoryan told ArmeniaNow.

The statement comes after Armenia’s Defense Ministry reported late on Thursday that another Armenian soldier was shot dead by an Azerbaijani sniper on the Armenian-Azeri border.

“Azerbaijan takes advantage of every occasion to shed the blood of Armenians. Therefore under these circumstances we, the undersigned, are stating in public that we have the most serious reservation over Armenia’s participation in the Eurovision contest to be held in Baku,” the statement reads.

Singer Andre, who was the first Armenian participant in Eurovision Song Contest, and who is from Nagorno-Karabakh by birth, says that “it was necessary to make such a decision since the very beginning.”

“This was, in fact, a right decision, and everybody has unanimously agreed with it,” Andre told ArmeniaNow.

Before this decision was made, the list of Eurovision potential participants was constantly updated. The most possible artists who would represent Armenia were Dorians rock band and Los-Angeles-based Armenian singer Lucia Moon, who was born in Baku.

Two days ago creative manager of Dorians rock band Vardan Zadoyan said that going to Baku would be a right decision.

“All of Europe is now attentively following how Azerbaijan will respond to Armenia’s being there. If they [Azeris] behave badly, it will be perceived very bad both by the European Union and all Europe in general. Going to Baku will also somehow show that we do not put art in war relations. The war has nothing in common with art. An artist must perform everywhere,” Zadoyan said.