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More than 500 pupils from music schools in Gyumri, Vanadzor, Ashtarak, Abovyan, Sevan, Artashat and Yerevan were invited to a Europe Day classical concert with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra. When the children arrived to Aram Khachatryan Concert Hall in Yerevan on 4th June, they were greeted by Ambassador Świtalski with whom they could celebrate their common love for music at the concert. . Representatives of the Armenian government, EU member states’ Ambassadors and representatives from international organisations also attended the concert.
13310333_1035358556518073_7966482787202323642_nAmbassador Świtalski opened the concert by introducing the vision of the EU: ‘66 years ago a great politician, Robert Schuman, had a vision, a vision of peaceful, prosperous, free and just Europe. We celebrate this day to commemorate the man and his vision, and we want to celebrate it together with the Armenian people. The celebrations of Europe Day have now culminated in Yerevan this weekend after five concerts in the marzes. This year we celebrate Europe Day in Armenia under the slogan of “Europe for Youth”. I am happy to have children from all over Armenia with us today – tonight they are our guests of honour. This evening is special because young talented Armenians will play European music. Isn’t this a great match?’
Music school pupils Sofia Vardanyan (violin), Diana Adamyan (violin), and Harutyun Melikyan (piano) performed during the concert together with their elder counterparts and all three pupils also played solo pieces.

Street art travels the globe, leaving positive and beautiful marks in cities all over Europe. Enter the exciting world of street art and discover one of the most trending art movements in Europe! The EU Delegation to Armenia, as part of the Europe Day 2016 celebrations, organised a workshop for people who love thinking outside the box and are passionate about colours and a free lifestyle. Well-known European street art artist Atomo (Davide Tinelli) from Milan came to Armenia to hold this workshop. Atomo is one of the first Italian artists who has explored various kinds of tagging and street art. Atomo is very active in the local socio-political scene, promoting numerous cultural and artistic exhibitions and contributing to the spreading of street art – even in public institutions.
13227078_1028712043849391_3582499359326975555_nOn the first day of Atomo’s workshop, young people learned about street art’s history, its different styles and forms after which they had the chance to practise with Atomo in an urban environment. We also attended the workshop and had an interview with him.

It is already your third day in Yerevan, how are you finding it?

Yerevan is full of art masterpieces, statues, paintings… For me, as an artist, it has been very interesting to come here and see this ancient land and capital. The most interesting part of the Europe Day events has been cultural exchange – I’m talking about what I’ve done in Italy and I simultaneously pick up new ideas from here – I’m continuously inspired.

Have you done workshops with young people before this one?

I am so happy to be able to work with groups of young people and create something new. I have given a lot of master classes in Barcelona and several Italian cities. Participants were students of the arts, as well as interested amateurs. It has not been difficult for me to run workshops in Armenia, despite the difference in culture, because art is something that unites people and has no boundaries.

13304985_1030304500356812_386968937055307554_oHave you noticed any street art in Yerevan?
Yes, I have noticed that street art exists in Yerevan, there are many illustrated arches that have been done in a very professional way. Some of them are a little bit primitive, but every work is an art, no one is born as an expert, and people have to work constantly to develop more. Street art is contemporary art, which unites the whole world, it is everywhere – from Africa to Europe. Street art plays a very big role in people’s lives when you walk and see colourful streets; it makes life more colourful and people need more colour in their lives.

What do these kind of workshops give you?
It’s a two-way experience. Young people always have new ideas. I give them my knowledge and accumulated experience, and I gain from their ideas and fantasies. There are many borders between Europe and Armenia – one of them is in the Schengen area, the other is not. However, the internet has no limits, so they can always be in touch with each other, simultaneously communicate and exchange ideas.

This year’s Europe Day 2016 celebrations in Armenia have taken place in five marzes and will culminate in Yerevan on 5 June.
On 18 May 2016, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, paid a regional visit to Gegharkunik marz. He was accompanied by, among others, Nicolas Faye, Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy, as well as José Medina Navarro, Deputy Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation. The delegation began its visit at the ENPARD project in Tsovaghyugh village meeting with buckwheat farmers; the local authorities of Tsovaghyugh village; Gurgen Martirosyan, the Mayor of Gavar; and the Governor of Gegharkunik, Rafik Grigoryan.
13230116_1026165467437382_5401231540686557703_nAt the end of the visit, the delegation met with civil society organisations and media representatives from Gegharkunik discussing, among other topics, increased EU cooperation with the regions, how to combat corruption, and the role SMEs can play in economic development. On the same day, Europe Day celebrations were held in Gavar for the first time. The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski heralded the importance of the event for the town: ‘We are celebrating Europe Day for you, for young people in particular. We will be working together with your government and CSOs to help you to find a better future here in your beautiful country. I know very well that life is not simple in Gavar, but we hope very much that this evening you, together with us, will think about hope and a better future’. After the speech, Ambassador Świtalski awarded special prizes to the winners of the EU-Armenia cooperation quiz. In Gavar, the audience was so excited that they asked for the celebrations to continue – despite the rain!
On 21 May 2016, the EU Delegation to Armenia’s team was on the road again, this time to the south of Armenia. Ambassador Świtalski encouraged the efforts to combat gender-based violence in Syuniq marz coordinated by the Goris Women’s Development Resource Center Foundation. During the meeting, the women signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and civil society on fighting gender-based violence. Ambassador Świtalski stressed the EU’s commitment on this issue: ‘The EU is behind you in fighting gender-based violence – as part of our human rights budget sector support programme; we have agreed with the government that it will finalise new comprehensive legislation on domestic violence by the end of 2016. We are actively engaging with the government, encouraging it to sign up to the Istanbul Convention’.
13237734_1027649920622270_840783055480861527_nOn the same day, the Ambassador launched the first EU-funded “Euroclub” in Goris. The EU delegation will open Euroclubs in all marzes of Armenia to inform and educate young people about the EU and EU-Armenia relations. The initiative will include assistance in establishing long-term partnerships with European youth NGOs, applying and obtaining EU resources, and supporting Armenian youth aspirations for strengthening relations with the EU.
Additionally, Europe Day celebrations took place in Goris for the first time. Ambassador Świtalski opened the proceedings and spoke about the role of the EU: ‘I’m glad we are here in one of the most beautiful cities in Armenia. We are committed to support the efforts of Armenians to build a better society. The EU wants to help you to have better education, good jobs and to live in peace. Times are not easy for all Armenians, let’s hope for peace, for development and let’s enjoy this evening’.
On 22 May, Ambassador Świtalski made his first official visit to Kapan. On his way to Kapan, the Ambassador and Jerzy Nowakowski, the Ambassador of Poland to Armenia, took a ride on “The Wings of Tatev” cable car and paid a visit to the historic Tatev monastery, which is situated on the edge of the spectacular Vorotan river gorge. The two ambassadors were joined by a Polish choir, which celebrated Europe Day by singing the European Anthem and a couple of traditional Polish songs. The group was then briefed about Polish support for marking hiking trails in the beautiful surroundings and were served a delicious, homemade Polish cake. Upon arrival to Kapan, Ambassadors Świtalski and Nowakowski were met by the Mayor of Kapan, Ashot Hayrapetyan, and members of his team. Among the topics discussed were economic development in the regions, a feasibility study of the Armenian-Iranian Meghri border crossing point, potential EU support to innovative plastic disposal, seasonal migration, employment opportunities for women, and historical links between Europe and Armenia.
13240582_1028341080553154_8261934550474347955_nOn the same day, citizens from Kapan and the surrounding villages were in a great mood as they prepared to join the EU Delegation’s team at another outdoor Armenian concert experience. Ambassador Świtalski expressed his pleasure of making his first visit to Kapan: ‘I salute this great city of Davit Bek – a city of courage and resilience. I salute Kapan, the city on the border of Europe, which is also a gate to Europe. I would like to thank the Mayor of Kapan and the municipality for helping us to organise this concert tonight. We want to build a common future between the EU and Armenia based on common values. Our Europe Day celebrations 2016 are dedicated to youth and the future generation; this is why we are using the slogan “EU for youth”. The EU believes that young people are the future of Armenia. You are full of talent and very gifted; the EU wants to contribute by offering better opportunities for the younger generation here, we want to contribute to better job creation and better education. We want young Armenians to see a better future here and not outside of its borders. Most of all, however, we would like to work with the international community to ensure stability and peace for Armenia and the whole region’.

“Move to the rhythm of Europe! If you have a passion for music and a talent for rhythm, do not miss your chance to participate in a dance workshop with the talented Mircea Ecxarcu.”
This message encouraged young Armenians to join and attend a very well-known and talented European dancer’s dance workshops taking place in Yerevan. Mircea’s visit was organised by the EU Delegation to Armenia within the framework of the 2016 Europe Day celebrations.
Mircea is one of the youngest choreographers and dance teachers in Romania. Thanks to his talent for quickly learning street dance styles and his creativity, he swiftly progressed in dancing – from apprentice to choreographer and teacher. Mircea was 19 when he started to train and teach specific dancing styles of hip hop, such as popping and locking; he learned them from their creators and adopted the styles almost instantly. During his stay in Yerevan, Mircea held three workshops with young Armenians, dance lovers, and dance teachers. Together, they created a dance choreography, which will be performed on 5 June 2016 in Yerevan during the Information Fair in Yerevan, at the Northern Avenue .
13245304_1025542474166348_2345049465063688823_nDuring Mircea’s visit, we had the chance to speak with him and ask about his visit, his workshops and his thoughts about Armenians:
How do you find Armenia? What have you seen?
This is my first time in Armenia. Yerevan is a very nice city, but because of my schedule, I didn’t see much, just a few streets. I’d like to see more of it, especially old places; I heard there are many of them in Armenia. People here are very warm and friendly. I was excited to come here because I want to see what is outside Europe; I’m personally a little tired to see the same European patterns everywhere; we all know how Europe functions, so I am very interested in seeing different nations who have different cultures than those of most of Europe.
Do you know anything about Armenian dance?
For me, it’s also interesting to see how Armenian traditional dances look. I saw young people from the workshops doing some steps, but I want to see more. Maybe we will integrate some details in our final dance because it could be a very interesting mix of old and new.
How is the dialogue between you and Armenian young people?
The dialogue is ok – I have a translator, and some of them understand English. Together, we are preparing fun dances, like a flash mob, in which 22-25 people will dance; I hope they will enjoy what they are doing. I see in my mind the final result, I see how it will be, I’ll teach them all the elements, but then it will be up to them. You know, dance is always great and it’s a universal language. Sharing with each other the language of dance and the language of music through dance is always a very expressive experience. I hope they will use that to find out who they are and see how they can express themselves in a different way.
Can you compare Romania with Armenia? What are the differences and similarities?
I have noticed that old Armenian and Romanian traditions are pretty similar, but I can see the differences in people. For example, in my country there is apathy, but here you don’t notice anything like that. In comparison with other European countries, I can say that all Europeans are creative, in my personal opinion, but some nations develop a bigger ego and, when pride is involved, the nature of expression is not the same. Here, people are very natural.

A music visualisation workshop took place on 23 May 2015 at TUMO centre in Yerevan in the framework of the Europe Day Information Week. The master class was held by the French audiovisual artist Florimond Zipper who is very well-known as VJ Zyper.
Zyper is performing live as a DJ, VJ, or lighting expert. He is a resident at Queen Club in Paris where he teams up with the biggest Electronic dance music (EDM) artists like Hardwell, Nicky Romero, Nervo, Chuckie, Dyro, and many more. Zyper also creates his own VJ tools and is a part of Knight Visuals team.
During his master class VJ Zyper explained how to mix all elements of a show together in a live show. He also explored tips on how to be creative and adapt your own VJ style to every kind of situation. During the workshop, participants learnt how to work with visuals from scratch with special thematic rules, how to find free elements, ideas, and how to create animations.
11219536_848079905245940_1366209637454145325_nVJ Zyper has had many workshops with people before, but this is his first experience in Armenia. “We speak about technology, we speak about the future but we speak also about the art which brings people together. I play all around the world, I play for all kind of countries and it does not matter where you came from, who you are, it is all about cooperation, all about the union and my job is just to bring people together, make them forget about their problems. Just come together, have fun together and make one big party. And this is so great to be here to make this in Armenia, I am really happy. Now I am very focused on my work because the main concert on 24 May that will conclude the Europe Day celebrations is huge. I need a lot of preparation and when the show is done we will have some time to discover Armenia, Yerevan and I am sure I will find a lot of good stuff to bring with me back to Europe and show to my friends”.
10494660_848273998559864_6404554090312364594_nAfter his master class at TUMO VJ Zyper joined Italian artist Fabio Zanino for the Overnight Performance. The performance was on the Northern Avenue, in the heart of Yerevan, starting from 19:00. It was raining hard, but people were very excited to take part in the performance and create a piece of art related to the EU-Armenia cooperation. While Fabio Zanino and the other participants were working on the installation, VJ Zyper was performing live.
Despite the rain, the Head of the EU Delegation and other officials as well as residents of Yerevan joined and had a lot of fun during the performance.

Italian artist Fabio Zanino visited Armenia to feature in the Europe Day celebrations in 2015 and to share his experience with Armenians.
Fabio Zanino is an Italian sculptor and painter based in Torino, Italy. His stylistic inspiration is the metamorphosis of material. An important element in Zanino’s style is the concepts of “Contexture” (context, background and texture) or de-contextualisation of texture. His series Deconstructions mark the transition from the movement of time to the shaping of visual forms.
Zanino held 4 masterclasses during his visit: in Vanadzor on 16 May; in Gyumri on 17 May; 11102671_847200038667260_4319712069844869690_nat the Tumo Centre on 19 May in Yerevan; a final one took place on 21 May. The main idea behind the masterclasses was to promote art which sees beyond the obvious, using waste and discarded objects to create into pieces of art! Zanino first introduced masterclass participants to the details underpinning his art, and then taught them how to create art from recycled materials.
Before the masterclass in Yerevan we managed to ask Fabio some questions about his visit to Armenia.

Is it your first time in Armenia?
Yes, this in my first time in Armenia, so barev [hello], Yerevan!
What was your first reaction, your first impression when you received an email and there was an invitation to Armenia?
My first reaction was to go on Google and find out anything about Armenia, see where it is on Google maps. No, no, I’m joking [laughing]. I know Armenia as a region, but I didn’t know Armenian history deeply. I am happy that I have had an opportunity to explore. Now, when I am here, I can say that this country is really very beautiful and it has very strong heritage. I also had an opportunity to visit historic places such as Tatev monastery, Noravank and other places and also two beautiful cities where I had my workshops – Gyumri and Vanadzor.
10403534_847211275332803_2925273496505675453_nYou’ve already worked with many Armenian young people. Have you had successful dialogue?
They are very collaborative. Many of them didn’t have a pop art background and I am happy that they have learned new things. The results of what they have created during the workshops are not so important; rather the way in which they relate to art is more important. They can keep it all in their mind, remember this new technique and continue to create their own pieces of art.
Your visit is part of the Europe Day celebrations and it is also about the EU-Armenia cooperation. What do you think your visit can bring to this cooperation?
An artist is a person who creates something and is close to art. You know, as an artist, I’m sharing my inspiration with people and get inspiration in return, especially from children. This is all about cooperation. I liked Armenia, and I liked Tumo where I held my workshop with children, and I’d like to come back to Armenia one day.

Fabio will also take part in the overnight performance on 23 May at Northern Avenue from 19:00, so don’t forget to come and watch!

If you are a photographer and you would like to meet a world-renowned photographer, join us for masterclasses and workshops with Maciek Nabrdalik – together you can create your best works within the scope of the “EU-Armenia, partnership to cooperation” photo exhibition!
This is how we started everything when we decided to have a photography masterclass within the framework of Europe Day celebrations in Armenia. Photographers interested in participating were too many and Nabrdalik had to choose them by their portfolios and motivation letters. Workshops began when the group was formed and Maciek Nabrdalik arrived in Armenia. The participating photographers learned about storytelling and photojournalism during their masterclasses.
ARS_5724The photos produced by participants were commented by Maciek. Afterwards, exhibitions were organised in Vanadzor and Gyumri as part of Europe Day celebrations on 16-17 May 2015. These photos made the journey to Yerevan, where another exhibition was opened on 18 May at Mirzoyan library. Traian Hristea, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, opened the exhibition: ‘I am happy to welcome all of you to the first Europe Day event in Yerevan. We brought together a group of photographers that, together with Armenian colleagues, were able to organise a joint photo exhibition. Here in the photos you can see the beneficiaries of EU-funded projects, projects on migration, rural development and other topics. I am very grateful to the NGOs that have implemented these projects’.
All the photographers who participated in the workshops received certificates from Ambassador Hristea. The photos will be exhibited at Mirzoyan library until 24 May 2015. We invite everyone to come and admire the results of the collaboration of these talented photographers.

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The European Union (EU) has been celebrating Europe Day within its borders for the last 65 years. It all began on 9 May 1950, when Robert Schuman called for the unification of Europe to make war on the continent impossible and spread peace and prosperity globally. During these 65 years, the EU has known the most prosperous, united and peaceful period in its history.
Armenia joins in the Europe Day celebrations every year – this year is a no exception. Europe Day celebrations include various informative events that showcase EU-Armenia close cooperation and partnership, as well as European cultural diversity. The decision was made to start the celebrations in Armenia not in the capital, but in the regions, and then bring them to Yerevan. The festivities began on 16 May in Vanadzor (the third largest city in Armenia). In the morning Vanadzor hosted Italian artist Fabio Zanino, who gave a masterclass, on creation of art from waste materials and rubbish. Vanadzor residents were surprised by this approach, stating that they had not had such an experience before.
10406696_845271502193447_2725293204125903595_nTraian Hristea, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, which is organising the events, and other ambassadors of EU Member States arrived in Vanadzor to join in the celebrations. Ambassador Hristea’s welcome speech opened the information fair on EU-funded projects being implemented in Armenia: ‘Over the years, Europe Day has become a symbol of peace, unity and the European values that we all share. We are devoted to supporting our neighbours in their efforts to enhance the stability and the prosperity in their region. This year the celebrations are dedicated to the European year for development. The motto of this year is “our world, our dignity, our future”. This is a great opportunity to talk about EU-Armenia cooperation and partnership. The Eastern Partnership summit in Riga that will take place in only in few days, on 21-22 May, should further confirm our continuous interest in a strong partnership with our neighbours and to demonstrate our commitment to supporting them in their efforts towards achieving lasting peace, political stability and increased prosperity’.
11221361_845269475526983_1959337283288225741_nDuring the information fair, Hristea, along with his colleagues, went through the programmes and talked to the representatives of the implementing organisations. Later, he attended the opening ceremony of a photo-exhibition by documentary photographer Maciek Nabrdalik. The latter had been invited to Armenia to give masterclasses to Armenian photographers and improve their skills. The results of these workshops were printed and exhibited.
11268969_845332892187308_2348483859051012507_nYet another event was held in Vanadzor on the central square – a concert dedicated to Europe Day that was widely attended and enjoyed by local residents.
The baton of Europe Day celebrations was passed from Vanadzor to Gyumri on 17 May. The morning started with the art, colours and creativity of Fabio Zanino’s masterclass with participants from Gyumri. Another information fair was opened by Ambassador Hristea, at which EU ambassadors, the Mayor of Gyumri and other officials were present: ‘The European Union and Armenia have committed to further developing and strengthening their bilateral relations in cooperation, to develop their cooperation in areas like human rights and democracy, education, culture, poverty reduction, justice reforms, migration, agriculture, trade, and others. This cooperation and assistance is substantial – we are investing €45 million almost every year in activities which benefit Armenian citizens. Here at the information fair you can see just the tip of the iceberg of our cooperation with Armenia’.
1520633_845797812140816_3210661893546777311_nCultural events marking the Europe Day in Gyumri continued with the “100 portraits” exhibition at “Still” Museum of Fine Arts. After the exhibition, all the participants gathered on the central square to have fun and celebrate Europe Day together. The residents of Gyumri found the day unique, as the weather held and had resisted its seasonal characteristic of heavy rain – the atmosphere had been so warm that even the sky had not wanted to interrupt people dancing in the square.