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December 18, 2009

ACNIS Holds Presentation on Nagorno Karabagh by Italian Guest Scholar

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) convened a special presentation by ACNIS “guest scholar” Luca Guiduzzi from the University of Turin in Italy.  The Italian Ambassador to Armenia, the Honorable Bruno Scapini, served as the “master of ceremonies” for the presentation of the scholar’s research from his recent field work in Nagorno Karabagh.

This research study on Nagorno Karabagh was conducted by Luca Guiduzzi, a graduate of Anthropology (Masters Degree) from the University of Turin, and was translated into English by Ms. Ilenia Santin, an Italian language lecturer at Brusov University.  The scholar’s field work in Karabagh was conducted and completed between August and November 2009, while Guiduzzi was a visiting “guest scholar” with ACNIS.

After welcoming the participants, ACNIS Director Richard Giragosian explained that “although the scholar’s findings, research and conclusion do not necessarily reflect the position of ACNIS or the Italian Embassy in Armenia, both the scholar’s tenure as a visiting ‘guest scholar’ at the Center and his research contribute to the deepening of Italian-Armenian relations and help raise public awareness of the Karabagh issue.”

In addition, Giragosian noted, Italian Ambassador Scapini’s participation in this event “was a reflection of the ambassador’s broader effort to deepen cooperation between Italy and Armenia and, in this way, although this event presented the work of a young Italian scholar, in cooperation with prominent Italian expert on the Caucasus Dr. Aldo Ferrari, today’s event is also part of a broader effort by ACNIS to help the Italian Embassy in Yerevan promote intellectual, academic and analytical cooperation between Armenia and Italy.”

Italian Ambassador Scapini then welcomed the participants by expressing his “appreciation for the efforts of ACNIS in promoting objective research” and thanked the Center for “having hosted Guiduzzi as a visiting guest scholar.”  Ambassador Scapini stated that he was “actively committed to helping to encourage Italian and Armenian researchers, scholars and analysts to deepen their ties and cooperation in pursuit of learning, as the best in the proper and finest historic Italian tradition.”

Following the Ambassador’s comments, Guiduzzi then presented a summary of his findings, which he defined as “a study of the socio-anthropological aspects” of Armenian identity in Karabagh.  According to the scholar, the “Soviet legacy was an important factor as an influence over everyday life in Karabagh” and said that the “socio-cultural perception of the people of Karabagh was defined by a self-perception of heroism and sacrifice that is reflected in historical events.”

The Italian scholar then explained that this “historical continuity, which occurs in celebrations as well as in customs, reflects a fear of losing this recent historical past that means independence, self-determination and the political birth of Karabagh.”  Concluding his presentation, Guiduzzi said that he “would like to outline a cultural approach to the negotiations (with Azerbaijan) by suggesting a long-term preliminary phase aimed at involving both the Armenian and Azerbaijani civil societies in order to set the basis for an intercultural, cooperative and interactive dialogue that would turn the adversarial logic of these peoples into a confrontation on the economic, political and social levels.”

The presentation was then followed by a series of questions and answers, and featured a lively exchange among several leading Armenian analysts, experts and journalists.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) is a leading independent strategic research center located in Yerevan, Armenia.  As an independent, objective institution committed to conducting professional policy research and analysis, ACNIS strives to raise the level of public debate and seeks to broaden public engagement in the public policy process, as well as fostering greater and more inclusive public knowledge. Founded in 1994, ACNIS is the institutional initiative of Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Over the past fifteen years, ACNIS has acquired a prominent reputation as a primary source of professional independent research and analysis covering a wide range of national and international policy issues.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am; or visit www.acnis.am.

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