No Borders Here - Interview with Arzu Geybullayeva
With the conflict in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh still unresolved, journalists and civil society activists in Armenia have few opportunities to meet with their Azeri counterparts, and vice versa. But increasingly, blogs and social networks offer new possibilities for dialogue across a cease-fire line in place since 1994. Other online tools offer immediate audio and video communication between the two countries, free from monitoring or interception. If adopted as general practice by journalists and activists, such tools could represent a revolution in cross-border cooperation.
For this final segment in our multimedia series on overcoming stereotypes in the South Caucasus, I interviewed Arzu Geybullayeva, an Azerbaijani political and regional analyst, about her work on civil society, women’s, and cross-border issues using new media tools. It was a rare direct conversation between Yerevan and Baku, conducted with the voice-over-Internet service Skype.
I first contacted Geybullayeva in late 2008 via her blog, Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines, and remained in contact through online services such as Twitter and Facebook. We met face-to-face last September in Telavi, Georgia, to make a presentation on new and social media for Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian youth activists. We also visited the nearby, ethnically Azeri village of Karajala and posted photographs, accounts, and multimedia presentations on their blogs (see an audio slide show about it here), a trip that became the forerunner of this project.
Onnik Krikorian is a freelance photojournalist and writer in Yerevan. He is also the Caucasus region editor for Global Voices Online and writes from Armenia for the Frontline Club. He and Arzu Geybullayeva will be co-presenting at the Social Media for Social Change conference in Tbilisi in April.
- 02.19.10 / 4pm by Onnik
- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Blogs, Civil Society, Georgia, Media, Nagorno Karabakh, Opinion, Regions, Youth