Women Mobilizing Memory Collective Solidarity Statement on Artsakh

October 13, 2020

As scholars, artists and activists who are part of the transnational feminist Women Mobilizing Memory Collective sponsored by Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference, we have studied the memories of violent histories in the interests of promoting peace, social justice, and a democratic future across the globe.

Today, we call for an immediate and lasting ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Nagorno- Karabagh.

On September 27, 2020, with the backing of the Turkish government (1) and the mobilization of Syrian mercenaries (2), Azerbaijan launched a military assault on Nagorno-Karabagh, an Armenian enclave known to its residents as Artsakh. The cease fire agreement of October 10 was immediately violated.

The decades-long political conflict over the status of this enclave has erupted again as a violent and destabilizing force that is visiting death and destruction on the people of the region at a moment when the world is reeling from the effects of a deadly pandemic. Critical resources that should be used to respond to people’s medical and economic needs have been diverted into war. What is more, Armenians in Turkey and the Diaspora have been made targets of hate crimes and hate speech.

Wars do not result only in death, displacement, injury and destruction, but they create deep wounds that are transmitted across generations. This region already has a long and painful history of such wounds. As part of our research and collaboration, we have learned a great deal from many individuals and institutions in the Caucasus who have been working diligently, creatively and collaboratively to heal these wounds and to cultivate a peaceful future. We would like to join our voices with the courageous voices of peace from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey who are calling for immediate ceasefire, a permanent cessation of aggression and a peaceful resolution to this conflict that will afford the people of Nagorno-Karabagh the right to determine their own future. (37)

It is our hope that rather than spreading into an ever more violent proxy war, this conflict can be brought to an immediate end. We call on the international community, including the governments of the United States, Russia, and Turkey, to work to end the violence immediately and to bring about a lasting settlement. A lasting settlement needs to end all human rights violations in the region and to give voice to women and other marginalized groups through the implementation of the UN Resolution 1325. (8)

1. What lies behind Turkish support for Azerbaijan
2. Syrians Make Up Turkey’s Proxy Army in Nagorno-Karabakh
3. CaucasusTalks
4. To stand for peace, in spite of everything
5. HDP MP Garo Paylan: There are no winners in war and no losers in peace
7. Armenian, Azeri Youth Speak Out For Peace
8. What’s Really Driving the Azerbaijan-Armenia Conflict

The Women Mobilizing Memory Collective at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference, comprised of over 40 scholars, artists and activists from the United States, Chile, Argentina, Turkey, Germany, and Austria.