We Are Our MountainsADDPMP611
We Are Our Mountains is a large monument north of Stepanakert, the capital city of the Republic of Artsakh. The sculpture, completed in 1967 by Sargis Baghdasaryan, is widely regarded as a symbol of the Armenian heritage of the region. The monument is made from volcanic tufa and depicts an old man and woman hewn from rock, representing the mountain people of Karabakh.
The use of the monument during a video clip preceding a performance at Eurovision Song Contest 2009 was the first of several political conflicts during the competition surrounding Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict stemmed from an introductory “postcard” video played before Armenia’s performance in a semi-final round, which depicted the monument alongside other symbols of Armenia. Representatives from Azerbaijan complained to the European Broadcasting Union about the use of “We Are Our Mountains” in the Armenian intro, since the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is de jure part of Azerbaijan. In response to the complaint, the image was edited out of the video in the finals. However, Armenia retaliated for the decision by including multiple images of the monument in its voting presentation—on a video screen in the background, and on the back of their spokesperson Sirusho’s clipboard.