Category Archives: People

IMAGINE’s getting creative

“IMAGINE 2011” production
The Neutral Zone


inspiring primiere videos
I Have A Friend


“I am Peaced”

directed by Imagine 2011 Alumni




Filed under Caucasus, People, Society

CEU in my memory card

A brief flash from the past is making me smile today.
A year ago, on September 4th I arrived in Magyar-land. Around early evening I was carrying my heavy luggage into the strange building located in the middle of nowhere: well, nice to meet you, my new home. It was raining and my super summer clothes and mood were not welcome at all. My feet hurt, because to choose right shoes for myself had never been of my strong skills. I had no idea where to exchange money, nor how to get some food and fresh beverage (do not forget, I was in the middle of your typical nowhere). Shall I also mention that the idea of a long settlement in my room, i.e. ordering everything I had managed to put into my huge suitcase was making me absolutely frustrated, while two or three random people in the corridor (instead of expected hundreds of excited students around the dormitory) totally discouraged me to spend even a day there leaving alone the entire academic year.
My frustration though was dragged out for even less than a day…

My studies at CEU along with a short life in the beautiful Budapest were a great school for me full of challenging lessons and amazing discoveries. I learnt a lot and had tons of fun!

IRES 2010/2011 crew

Thank you, my first CEU friends, the two girls I arrived with, Ani and Toma, and Emily who we met at the airport and soon after became great neighbours with.
Thank you dear IRES-ers 2010/2011, all of my wonderful friends from other departments, party-addicted dormitory residents and just everyone who made CEU the best place to study at. Many thanks to the hospitable Hungarian people, every single person who made my stay in Magyarország (Hungary) an incredible experience.
They say, there are moments in the life which are worth to live for. CEU life was definitely full of those…

Now September 4th is over. And the brief flash prolonged for the whole day is still making me smile.
That’s what I love about unlimited human’s memory card.


Filed under People, Thoughts Aloud

You may say that I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one

IMAGINE” Armenian-Azerbaijani Dialogue Programme 2011 in lovely Bakuriani, Georgia is over. It has been the fifth year when young people from the two countries gathered on a neutral territory to discuss the complexity of the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia trying to find some ways for their improvement.
It was not the first time I participated in a programme involving young activists from the South Caucasus. But this time I could observe something in a way different.
I should probably just sketch a couple of things that would perfectly characterize “Imagine” as something absolutely special in my life.

Imagine is a project that
brought Azerbaijani and Armenian youth to talk face to face about their interpretation of the historical facts related to the conflict and relations between the two societies

Imagine there’s no Heaven It’s easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky

put all of us into a number of challenges to overcome during the negotiations (discussing history and the current political situation) and while cooperating (project planning, potential networking)
included endlessly funny and creative “color games” competitions every day right after the passionate discussions so that by the end of the day I could hardly remember who exactly I was insistently arguing with during the morning sessions
encouraged me to be brave enough to talk to the participants about any concerns I had regarding my relations with them in order to avoid any insincerity between us

created an atmosphere for us sitting in the circle to share truly personal stories without fear to be misunderstood and without hesitation to look too sensitive or even fragile
was a 100% blast
proved that challenges and honesty lead to success
revealed that imagination should be healthy and pragmatic and then it’s extremely enjoyable
reminded that even if someone thinks we are just dreamers, yet we are not the only ones, and we are not alone!

I so much did not want the programme to end and at the same time I was looking forward to the last day in order to start the follow up as soon as possible!
Cheers to everyone who initiated and contributed to this programme!
Good luck with all of your follow up projects, Imaginers!

I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one…


Filed under Caucasus, People, Society

You&Me for Egypt

On February 3, 2011 a group of international students (mainly from CEU) joined the demonstration in front of the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Budapest, Hungary (the video is below). They signed the «Declaration on Freedom of Expression in Egypt» addressed to the Embassador of Egypt in Hungary. The idea was not to show any political position, but simply to support the freedom of assembly and speech of protestants in Tahrir Square in Cairo.

I asked Blagi, one of the organizers of the “You&Me for Egypt” initiative, to tell how the idea to make the event true came to their minds. She said that one of their lovely classmates left for home, Egypt, right after the protests in Cairo started. So, “when the Egyptian people were cut off from the rest of the world when the regime blocked their means of communication and when the violence started to escalate on the streets of Cairo, knowing that our best friends are there we decided that we needed to act”, says Blagi. During our talk, Blagi several times mentioned that there were a lot of people standing behind this initiative and putting their efforts to make their Egyptian friend feel their support and love.
So it was not the initiative of the department or the university – not at all. It was an initiative of young people desiring to show their concern about the violation of Egyptians’ fundamental right to assembly and protest.
It was also a message for their lovely Egyptian friend, who left for home, strongly realizing her role in the fate of her country and people.
She just returned to Budapest, and we all are happy to see her safe and as joyful as she has always been.

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Filed under Human Rights, People, Society

Human Rights (where the liberty starts)

VERZIO International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival has just finished in Budapest. It was organized by Open Society Archivum (OSA), together with the Open Society Institute (OSI), Russian State Film and Photo Archive and some other local institutions/partners. A one-week event aims at screening wide variety of films about ordinary people’s rights across the world and, particularly, in such countries as Afghanistan, Congo, Kenya, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, China and many others.
Volunteering during the festival in October 2010, I was lucky to watch some films two of which I was most of all impressed by.
The first documentary is called Nairobi Love Story, directed by Maria Weber. It is about two young lovers from Kenya, Eric and Margareth. Belonging to the different tribes (Kikuyo and Luo) they are strictly condemned by the society and, in particular, their own families for their relationship. Kenyans from Kikuyo and Luo cannot marry each other because of the continuous conflicts between the two tribes which at the same time represent different ethnic groups. However, in spite of all the blames and difficulties a couple has to overcome, they purely love each other and dream of their future family. At the same time, managing together a household, at some point they also face a problem of division of their domestic duties. So, another problem raised in the film is gender roles in the family. Eric, quite typically for a man, believes that laundering and cooking, as well as supposedly, other household works, are not man’s duties. Therefore, doing chores, he only helps Margareth. Meanwhile, since he does it voluntarily, he correspondingly expects to be appreciated for that. But Margareth perceives this kind of “help” as something natural: if they both have jobs, both need some food, drink, clean clothes and house, then both have to be equally responsible for handling all that.
The second documentary, Afghan Star, directed by Havana Marking, is about “Afghan Star” music talent TV show in Afghanistan. Afghan people, who have been suffering of the severe wars and Taliban rules for decades, were not allowed to sing. Moreover they did not even have a chance to watch TV or listen to radio. With the end of Taliban rule Afghanis got an access to some of the broadcasting media, along with the simple rights to sing, dance and laugh. So, they perceived freedom as a possibility to sing and express their feelings in the combination of notes and words.
The “Afghan Star” became the most popular TV show in Afghanistan not only for the participants, but also hundred thousands of people across the whole country watching them. Afghanis enthusiastically voted for their beloved singers and sincerely believed that their voice would influence the results of voting. This was not, though, the only crucial point of the film. The young lady, who at some point received the least votes, stayed behind other competitors and had to leave the project (as it happens in “Super Star” and other similar programmes). According to the tradition of the project, before leaving the stage, she had to make a final performance in front of the audience. She was supposed to sing, but never to dance. And several simple dance elements she dared to make while singing were considered as a deadly sin. When she was asked of the reason of her impudent behavior, she guiltily said that had followed the feelings she had been full of at that moment.
For some of us it might be hard to believe that in the 21st century human happiness depends on the possibility to love or sing. And what is even harder to believe in is that in the closed societies there are very few people who dare to defend their universal right to be happy.
Both films revealed an absolutely simple truth to me: our liberty starts from easy words, sounds and feelings. We never realize it though. Otherwise, our everyday life would have a different value.


Filed under Human Rights, People, Political, Society

Leonid Afremov

Art is my life and I paint every single day
Leonid Afremov

Several minutes ago I have discovered an absolutely lovely artist Leonid Afremov. Surprisingly I had never heard about him, though he turned to be quite popular. He paints with palette knife with oil on canvas and does it amazingly.
Thank you Nune Melkoumian for exploring his paintings to me.

I am posting some of them below and going to print them and post on the walls of my small room in the dormitory.
The source of the pictures is “Look At Me
More information about Leonid Afremov, his paintings, blog discussions, etc. can be found on his official website at
Finally, you can watch how a new painting is being created here
Enjoy it..


Filed under Culture, People

“Я одеваю чувства в слова” (словесная одежда молодых талантов)

В 2008 г. мне посчастливилось участвовать в Пушкинском молодёжном фестивале искусств “С веком наравне” в Москве от Славянского университета (РАУ). На самом деле, это не просто фестиваль, а яркое событие в жизни всех его участников. Театральные постановки (в чём я и участвовала), музыкальные композиции, художественное слово, выставки, наши наряды и, наконец, заключительный бал (самый настоящий) настолько погрузили нас в XVIII-XIX века, что к XXI нам пришлось привыкать по-новому (и надо сказать с трудом).
Но это другая история. Главное, что спустя 2 года, я обнаружила на полке глянцевую книжку “Современники”, 12 выпуск, Москва, 2007 г. Это сборник лучших стихов в конкурсе молодых поэтов-участников прошлого (2007) года.
Стихи (при всей моей любви к ним) обычно меня быстро утомляют. Но то, что мне попалось под руки на сей раз заставило меня прочитать от первой страницы до последней.

Среди этих стихов были такие, которые я просто не могу не захватить с собой в свой “Train”.

«Весь мир – театр…»

Рой вопросов, бессмысленный свет,
Диалог из несбывшейся сказки,
Тихий стук каблуков о паркет,
А вокруг лишь одни только маски.
Шелест юбок и шелест страниц.
Кто на сцене, а кто за кулисами.
Миллион примелькавшихся лиц
За актёрами или актрисами.
Маска знает, как нужно играть,
Ей не надо вопросами мучаться
И сомненьями душу терзать:
Раз – продаст, два – предаст, три – получится!
Лунный свет заливает крыльцо…
Скоро каждый актёрству научится,
Скоро к маске привыкнет лицо:
Раз – продашь,
Два – предашь,
Три – получится.

(Конькова Мария)
Смотри, трава ломает стены,
Как стенобитное орудие,
Но только очень постепенно
И с очень нежною прелюдией.

(Алёшечкина Мария)
Я- ведьма. В храм мне не войти.
Меня по свету гонит жажда.
Будь проклят тот, кто на пути
Моём мне встретится однажды.
Иду одна среди толпы,
Навстречу всем и на несчастье.
Слепа не я, а вы слепы
И раздираемы на части.
Я душу отдала в залог
Своей судьбы. Мне волк стал братом.
Я преступила свой порог.
Мне больше нет пути обратно.
Мой профиль горд, мой взор остёр,
Я знаю, было что и будет.
Вы вслед кричите: «На костёр!»
А я смеюсь над вами, люди.
Ведь вы прикованы цепьми
К своим деньгам, удаче, славе.
Вы перестали быть людьми,
Пока мечтали о расправе.
Для вас я ведьма? Да, я – зло.
И тьма, и ночь для вас – могила.
Есть мир? Цепляйтесь за него!

А ведь и я его любила…

(Конькова Мария)
Умна и даже не уродина,
Сама не без талантов вроде бы,
Но чувствую себя юродивой…
А ты?

И, словно выходя на подиум,
Играю на себя пародию,
Да только все в каком-то роде мы

(Краснопирка Валентина)
За то, что именем твоим
Я назвала чужого сына.
За то, что боль невыносима,
Но мы её в себе храним.

За то, что кисть твою в бреду
Сжимала пальцами до дрожи.
За то, что я по бездорожью
Теперь не за тобой иду.

За то, что я в чужом дому
Чужим теплом была согрета.
За то, что все мои секреты
Тебе известны одному –

(Краснопирка Валентина)
Я смог бы, наверно, тебя полюбить,
Если б не холод…
Я мог бы тебе по частям дарить
Мой внутренний город…

Я смог бы, наверно, тебя понять.
Я редко трушу…
Да только ты не спешишь обнажать

Я мог бы твоим художником стать
Немного пьяным…
Да только ты ж мне не дашь писать,
А странно…

Тебе бы по нраву пришёлся другой
Пусть я оловянный –
Я просто солдатик
С одной ногой…
А ты балерина

(Лущинский Владимир)
Фонарь дышал,
Окутанный пургою,
Или курил,
И был похож на душ.
Он был ЖИВОЙ –
Живей, чем мы с тобою:
В нас – две, в нём – сотни
Проходящих душ.

(Косолапова Наталья)
Город последние роли раздал,
Имя смешалось с запахом дыма.
Кто-то опять любить опоздал.
Время в вагонах везут поезда.

Время в вагонах – в бутылке бес,
Шпалы считая, проносится вечность.
Кажется, в сердце опять перевес.
Ах, как беспечно
Город поверил в возможность чудес.

Город поверил в возможность зимы,
Имя смешалось с запахом снега…
Кто-то опять опоздал, а мы –
В омут с разбега.
А на улыбках остался дым,
Город в окне показался седым…

(Леонтьева Мария)


Filed under People, Society, Thoughts Aloud