Translated by Vartan MatiossianHow do we present ourselves to the world when whatever or whoever we want to be recognized for is laying in the past or belongs to another culture? Do we have an "Armenian brand"? What phenomenon does make Armenia presentable to the world today? On September 15, 2011, Vazrik Bazil, German-Armenian expert in public relations and doctor in philosophy, answered to these questions in a public discussion in Yerevan. "Armenians appear to the world today not as creators, but as a nation that uses what has been created by other and, at the same time, has taken the way of 'self-museification,''' he said. According to Bazil, Armenians are users, but not creators, since "we use what others have created, but where is our creation that makes a difference? It does not mean that the old goes to waste and the new becomes sacred. We should be able to present the old in a new approach, a new ideology. For example, it is possible to present the odes of Gregory of Narek and his Book of Tragedy through jazz."
Bazil concluded that Armenians are necrophilic by tendency, because they are busy putting themselves in a museum: ''You know that there are no breathing creatures in a museum, but inert and lifeless ones, and if they [Armenians] want to be alive, they have to renounce to the process of self-museification. Armenians like to argue that they are an ancient people, that they have adopted Christianity for the first time. Let's say they proved it, let's say that Adam and Eve are Armenians too. So what? What's the meaning if what is old remains purely old? Old to the old, but where are you today, what new thing you have created?" The expert emphasizes that there is no need for big investments in order to be innovative: "To be original, you don't often need to invest big. We have to make less investments in cement and much more in brains," noted Bazil.
In his words, we need to present ourselves in the way we are as to shape a "national brand": "We do not have to present ourselves to the world through Charles Aznavour or Cherilyn Sarkissian [Cher], who were born into another culture and have shaped themselves under the influence of another culture." The only positive trend in the area of "nation-presentation," according to Bazil, is that Armenian officials have changed their attitude abroad: "I have heard several times President Sargsian's speeches abroad. He is presentable, he speaks calmly, without chewing his words," concluded the German-Armenian specialist.
"Azg," September 16, 2011