On the weekend of October 8-10, 2021, exactly one year after armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan began, a bus with nine women working in civil society organizations drove across the border from Armenia into Tbilisi, Georgia to meet with their Azerbaijani counterparts who flew in from Baku. They had to meet in Tbilisi because neither activist can visit each other’s country because of closed borders. Georgia represents a neutral ground where they could begin to build bridges and meet face-to-face for the first time since the 44-Day war started in September 2020. Instances like this are few and far between, but Sose Women’s Issues NGO (Sose’s Women), a non-governmental organization based out of Goris, Armenia, initiated contact with a collective of Azerbaijani women’s rights civil society workers to participate in a workshop called “Women Power” funded by the US Embassy in Armenia. The workshop brought together women from the civil society sector in Armenia and Azerbaijan to collaborate and explore the possibility for mutual understanding and cross-cultural cooperation on issues related to gender inequality. Set in the context of “common gender disparities,” the processes and outcomes of “Women Power” had several implications for peacebuilding and conflict resolution, both within and beyond the field of women’s work. An Armenian participant even added that she believes “politics divides the countries and this inequality issue concerning women connects the countries.”
Through her work with Sose’s Women, Adrineh Gregorian oversees international and local human rights campaigns on issues ranging from women’s leadership, health education, and disability rights throughout Armenia, Turkey, and the Caucasus region – combining media tools, like documentary films, to promote social change and policy reformation. In 2008, she was awarded a United States Fulbright Grant to research reproductive health in Armenia. Her documentary films have reached over 50 countries and participated in 28 festivals across the globe including Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival for “Bavakan” in 2013, and the Doc Film Corner at Cannes for, “Back to Gurun” in 2015. Adrineh has degrees from UCLA, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a PhD in Cultural Studies with a Media Studies concentration at Claremont Graduate University. Her research focuses on media’s role in democratization and social impact. Samples of her documentary films can be found at: https://vimeo.com/user15540786.
Title: Together It’s Possible
Date of Production: March 2022
Production Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
Project: Women Power Workshop 2021