In the third year of the ArmNet awards CivilNet was awarded a special prize for “Advancing the Idea of Online Television in Armenia.” At the ceremony which took place on November 30, 2013, 12 websites won various awards.
CivilNet is a two-year-old operation with more than 6,000 videos about various aspects of Armenian life. CivilNet produces nearly two hours of content each day, and is focusing more and more on LIVE transmission of events, conferences and civil society activities. CivilNet’s videos have had more than seven million views in two years.
ArmNet is a yearly contest for Armenian websites and aims to recognize the year’s bests. It reviews all the changes, advancements and new features of the Internet world in Armenia. A jury composed of specialists chooses the year’s best Armenian sites in different categories.
This year ArmNet’s main theme was “Mobilization.” Orange’s marketing director Aram Mkrtchyan, in an interview with CivilNet, said, “The ArmNet awards are a special event in our country, because every year it reviews the situation of the Internet in Armenia. ArmNet is not only an award show, but also a conference where new trends and products of Internet life are discussed and very interesting ideas come about. This year’s ArmNet is different from the preceding ones, because this year we started talking a lot about mobilization of the internet. A lot of attention was given to mobile sites and their mobile apps.”
Armenian websites were nominated in 8 categories: Design and Practicality, Best Content, Technological Development, Breakthrough of the Year, Innovation, Best Start Up, Social Impact and the Grand Prix. Instead of awarding a website in the category for Social Impact, the prize was given to the “100 Dram” social movement because, this last summer, it was able to actively mobilize through the internet and stop the public transport rates from going up.
Other winners were www.ysu.am, the official website for Yerevan State University, in the category for Best Content; www.cult.am for Breakthrough of the Year, a site where you can find out the latest cultural events in Yerevan; www.betchili.com for Best Start Up, a social betting game with virtual currency based on real sport games; www.varwar.com for Technological Development, a site where you can create new or join available games; and www.imyerevan.com for Design and Practicality, an information and entertainment portal about Armenian reality. 360yerevan.am, a site that tells virtual stories of Yerevan, won the Grant Prix and the prize in the category for Innovation.
The Civilitas Foundation will convene a debate between party representatives running for the Yerevan municipal council in order to promote a genuine political race and to fully cover the elections. The debate will take place on April 30th, 2pm at Moscow Cinema.
Municipal elections in Armenia are normally given less attention by the public and mass media than parliamentary or presidential elections, even though it is local decisions that directly affect citizens’ everyday lives. Because all mayors of Yerevan have been members of the ruling party at the time and have governed on the basis of being accountable to that party, not to voters, most citizens are only vaguely aware of the scope and capacity of the municipal body’s powers.
On April 24, Civilitas has joined with the Moscow Theater (Abovyan St. 14) to offer a six hour marathon of films produced over the last 20 years on the very important topic of genocide awareness and recognition. Admission is free. Films are screened in their original language.
The Schedule of the Screenings:
15:00 Barking Island
15:20 Uncle Garabet
15:45 An Armenian Journey
16:45 Whispering memories
17:35 Talking pictures
18:35 Ravished Armenia
21:15 Armin Wegner. The Armenian Genocide Photographer
Last month, I travelled to Yerevan, Armenia to meet with people from the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI). They’re working to raise greater awareness of a horrific genocide that saw the murder of 1.5 million people during the final years of the Ottoman Empire around 1915. Ongoing denial of this historic atrocity, waged in the name of racial and religious homogeneity, makes it a contemporary human-rights concern.
When the CMHR opens next year, information about this atrocity will be included in its galleries. We are also working to establish formal ties of cooperation with the Museum in Yerevan that could help both institutions in our efforts to use awareness and dialogue as a way to promote enhanced human rights for Armenians and all of humanity.
On my trip, I was accompanied and assisted by members of the Toronto-based Zoryan Institute of Canada, a group that supports scholarship and public awareness relating to issues of universal human rights, genocide, and diaspora-homeland relations.
Below is an abbreviated transcript of the press conference.