From Yerevan to Van...
Anadolu Kültür's Female Minstrels project kicked off with ‘From Van to Yerevan’ concert in Yerevan last spring. The project is funded by the European Union within the framework of the programme Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process.
Dengbêj (minstrel in Kurdish) Gazîn and Ashugh (minstrel in Armenian) Leyli's first joint concert took place in Yerevan's National Center for Chamber Music on May 26th, 2014.
The concert was broadcasted live on CivilNet and reached out to a greater audience beyond Yerevan. The live recording can be viewed here.
The traditional musical performance, minstrelsy, is a folk literature that can be regarded as a genre of oral history narrative, which is still preserved in both Turkey and Armenia.
The minstrel stories displaying the common past of the peoples have been neglected and silenced by the official history; it is passed down throughout generations and is still alive in both societies.
The two important figures of this tradition, Dengbêj Gazîn of Van and Ashugh Leyli of Armenia, met on May 19th, 2014 in Yerevan to begin their preparations for their first concert.
During the concert, three disciples from the Van Women Artists’ Association founded by Dengbêj Gazîn herself accompanied her performance, while Ashugh Leyli performed together with female musicians from Armenia.
Beside the common repertoire selected for the concert, Ashugh Leyli and Dengbêj Gazîn performed their own songs to the audience.
Lusine Nazaryan, a researcher on minstrelsy from Armenia and Marlene Schäfers, an anthropologist from Cambridge University is amongst the group that is conducting the field trip investigating the local minstrelsy tradition.
Ashugh Leyli and Dengbêj Gazîn’s second meeting will take place on September 1st in Van, Turkey. The musicians that will perpetuate their field trip in Van will give their second joint concert on September 7th 2014, at 13.00 on the Aghtamar Island in Van following the mass at the Armenian Church of the Holy Cross.
All the materials gathered during the field trips and the stories the minstrels sang will be compiled and published in a book along with a CD containing the recordings of Dengbêj Gazîn and Ashugh Leyli.
Afterwards, the duo will travel to Istanbul to record their album which will be released by Kalan Müzik and also to perform a final concert in Istanbul at the Mustafa Kemal Hall of ITU Macka on September 12th, at 20.30.
On September 13, 2018, Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development (UFSD) hosted a workshop on “Exchange of Best Practices in Plastic Waste Management between Armenia- and Turkey-based CSOs and Practitioners.” The workshop is part of a project that contributes to the development of cooperation between environmentalists, waste management practitioners, businesses and local authorities of Armenia and Turkey through sharing best practices in plastic waste management. The grantee, Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development in partnership with the Union of Diyarbakir Young Businessmen organized a 1-day workshop in Diyarbakir with participation of 20 representatives of local authorities, plastic waste management practitioners, environmental CSOs, businesses in the field of plastic waste separation and recycling from Armenia and Turkey. The workshop was followed by a study visit to Plastic Waste Recycling Plant in Diyarbakir, as well as a follow-up exchange workshop in Yerevan. Based on the results of the study visit and workshops UFSD will produce a booklet on the best practices of plastic waste management in Armenia and Turkey. The project will result in an increased awareness of stakeholders of the plastic waste management practiced on the other side of the border, as well as will provide an opportunity for networking between practitioners and businesses focusing on plastic waste management. Representatives of local authorities may consider replicating the best practices in plastic waste management in their own communities.
This activity took place within the framework of the Sub-grants Scheme implemented by Eurasia Partnership Foundation as part of the “Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalization Process” programme, funded by the European Union and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.