Should Armenia take part in Eurovision's song contest?

From the moment Azerbaijan was announced the winner of “Eurovision song contest 2011”, a range of discussions started within Armenians on “Whether Armenia should take part in Eurovision song contest 2012 in Baku or not?”.

Baku, Host city of Eurovision 2012
More about Baku

If the contest was hosted by any other country there would never be a single hesitation, as Armenia, being a small country, always tries to be represented in various international events, whether they are cultural or sport events, thus making the world know about this small but a very strong nation, which has a priceless historical heritage. So the existence of different and often even controversial opinions is accounted for by the fact that there exists a deep-rooted political dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan about Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Already for 54 years, the Eurovision Song Contest is Europe's favourite TV show. After more than five decades featuring some 1,100 songs, the contest has become a modern classic, strongly embedded into Europe's collective mind." -

Unfortunately, because of this dispute, there are a great number of prejudices and stereotypes between Armenian and Azeri societies towards each other. But there is also another reason why Armenians are uncertain to go to Baku. Last October, during World Boxing Championship 2011, held in Baku, “Karabakh Liberation Organization” rushed into the Heydar Aliyev Stadium, where the championship was taking place and started throwing stones at the Armenian delegation before the police intervened. After this incident, of course a question arises, “How can Armenians be sure that a similar aggressive attack will not take place during this year’s song contest and that the security of the Armenian delegation will be guaranteed?”. Even though I am also concerned about the security Azeri authorities should provide to the Armenian delegation, I am for Armenians’ participation in this cultural event. As I believe that such cultural events can help to bring two societies closer and contribute to the ice-breaking process. I do really hope that Armenia will take part in this song contest and will be represented the best way and it is quite possible that next year it will be Armenia that will host Eurovision music contest.
Below I would like to introduce you the viewpoints of some political, military experts and artists on “Whether Armenia should take part in Eurovision song contest 2012 in Baku or not?”
“I think in any case it would be wrong no to attend it,” said Artsrun Hovhannisyan, a military expert. He said "We should not adopt the same strategy as Azeri people do and incite hatred in everything,”.

“If Eurovision wants to punish a state, it gives the first prize, so that that nation would be terrorized. That is to say, we have been saved,” said Arthur Shahnazaryan.
Deputy Director of the Caucasus Institute, political scientist Sergey Minasyan thinks, Armenia’s participation in this contest is convenient from a political viewpoint. If Armenia withdraws its participation, it will give Azerbaijan somewhat he billed “propaganda dividends”. However, Minasyan would like to see a participant from Nagorno Karabakh attend this contest.
Ara Gevorgyan, a composer, thinks there is no reason why Armenia should not take part in this song contest,  saying that“If sportsmen go, why should culture activists not go?”.

Contributed by: Arevik Hayrapetyan, Forgotten Diaries blogger from Armenia
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