Despite official censorship in the early days of Azerbaijan’s independence, journalists enjoyed more freedom then than they do now. Oligarchic control over the country’s media and fear of prosecution, or even death, mean many journalists now resort to self-censorship.
In the Internet age, discussions of bullying are becoming more global. In Azerbaijan, such discussions shed light on attitudes in the country towards violence, masculinity, and honour. The toughest lessons in these are often forced on children on the school grounds, and can lead to lasting trauma. [Read more…]
Almost three decades after independence, Russian language still plays a large role in Azerbaijan. Many of the country’s schools and universities are divided: into the Azerbaijani-medium Azsector, and a Russian-language sector. But the divide goes far beyond the language: graduates of the Russian sector often see themselves as the elites of society, more progressive, more open-minded, and more cultured. In turn, they are portrayed as aloof, unpatriotic, and not ‘real’ Azerbaijanis. [Read more…]
The beginning of 2018 has come to mean two things for Armenians: rising prices for essential goods, and for many, a new tax burden. The opposition Yelk are now confronting the government, encouraging Armenians to take their anger to the streets.
There are hundreds of school-age children in Armenia not attending school. While some work to help support their families, others have fallen victim to attitudes towards gender. In villages where there are only one or two girls — a result of of sky-high sex-selective abortion rates — parents sometimes insist that their girl should not study alone in a classroom full of boys. [Read more…]
The devastating earthquake of 1988 has left a lasting mark on Armenia’s second city. Despite reconstruction projects, Gyumri’s ‘temporary’, dilapidated trailers are still home to thousands. As these families remain unable to break the cycle of poverty — the city centre is receiving an expensive facelift. [Read more…]
As the number of arrests in the wake of November’s deadly counterterror siege grows, the killing by security forces of a 19-year-old in Pankisi has caused controversy. [Read more…]
With Armenia’s soaring labour migration rates, working-age men have become a rare sight in many villages. Their wives have grown used to seeing them only once a year, if at all, and raising the children alone isn’t only a matter of necessity — it has become a fact of life. [Read more…]
The number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan is among the highest in Europe. This repression serves not only as a tactic of intimidating journalists, activists, and the opposition, but also an instrument of foreign policy. [Read more…]