On May 26, 27 and 28 ‘Aurora’ award organizes a range of events in Armenia. The organizers are doing a great job; it holds the pride of our nation high, showing that we- Armenians- practice universal humanitarian values. I also got an invitation to participate in these events and was actually thinking about attending one of them. But…
Usually, when I get such an invite, they send me an invitation, which I take with myself and show it before the entrance. (If there is a problem with the security, they put a metal detector at the entrance, which I consider completely normal). But the procedure here was more complicated. To attend the events I have to fill in a whole questionnaire, which is almost similar to the questionnaire that’s required to fill in at the embassies to get a Schengen visa. First of all, I have to fill in that paper probably in English; it’s believed that all the guests know English.
The content of the form is the following: ‘title’ (what if I am not a duke or a count?), first name, last name, middle name, preferably email, birth date, passport series, and it is valid until… And here arises a question- if I am such a suspicious person, that I can only attend the events by leaving my passport data, then perhaps you should not have invited me? And if I present fake passport data, then are they going to check that through the police? I do not know about you, but I think that humanism also implies that there is peace, democracy, and accessibility in the interaction. If it is more difficult to attend the events of that award, than to meet the president of the republic, if the bureaucratic procedures are that complicated, then it is better to hold these initiatives only for the international “aristocracy” and not for ordinary people. I do not exclude the possibility of it being an internationally accepted form. But not all internationally accepted forms are good.
I should repeat that I do not intend to discredit the award and the idea of ‘Aurora’: it is a very important event. It is just that creating gauze around it by granting exclusive rights to some media outlets and inventing some bureaucratic procedures for the attendance, I think, is contradictory to the original idea.
… Once one of the most remarkable pianists of our time Gevorg Sokolov (by the way, a unique performer of Komitas’ piano works), had to leave a fingerprint at some airport to get on the plane. Sokolov refused to do that, saying: “Sorry, I am only used to leaving my fingerprints on the piano keyboard.” And he did not fly.