Shusha will host major cultural events

By Laman Ismayilova

Shusha is often considered the cradle of Azerbaijani music and poetry.

Many eminent musicians like Bulbul (Nightingale), Seyid Shushinski, Khan Shushinski, Uzeyir Hajibayli, Rashid Behbudov, Niyazi, Fikrat Amirov as well as the outstanding writers and thinkers including Khurshidbanu Natavan, Gasim Bay Zakir, Suleyman Sani Akhundov were also born in this iconic location.

The historical and cultural riches of the city have made it a leading cultural center.

By presidential decree, 2022 has been declared the Year of Shusha in Azerbaijan.

In response to this announcement, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture is planning a number of cultural events and projects.

Many cultural projects will be carried out by the Ministry of Culture to revitalize the cultural traditions of Shusha.

Khari Bulbul Music Festival

Like the previous year, Shusha will host the Khari Bulbul International Music Festival.

The cultural event was held in Shusha every year before the city was occupied by Armenian forces in 1992. The festival resumed after Shusha was liberated on November 8, 2020.

Last year, the long-awaited festival brought together music groups from different nations living in Azerbaijan on the plain of Jidir (Jydyr).

The festival featured folk and classical music concerts amid breathtaking nature.

The audience also enjoyed the traditional music of different peoples living in Azerbaijan.

The concert on the theme “Multiculturalism in Azerbaijani music” conveyed to the whole world the message that everyone, regardless of nationality or religion, has one homeland.

Vagif Poetry Days

The Vagif Poetry Days will welcome their guests again in 2022.

Until 1991, the cultural event was held annually in Azerbaijan on the relevant instructions of the late national leader Heydar Aliyev.

In 2021, Vagif Poetry Days took place for the first time after so many years.

The Vagif Poetry Days were held in front of the Molla Panah Vagif Museum-Mausoleum after its reconstruction.

The mausoleum on the grave of the Azerbaijani poet and statesman was built on the instructions of national leader Heydar Aliyev in 1982.

Catchy performances, colorful exhibitions, literary symposiums and touching poems were welcomed with great interest by the guests of Vagif Poetry Days 2021.

Khurshidbanu Natavan Poetry Festival

The city of Shusha will host another literary festival this year. The Khurshidbanu Natavan poetry festival will be held in the city to mark the poetess’ 190th birthday.

Khurshidbanu Natavan, the daughter of Mehdi Gulu-khan, the last ruler of the Karabakh Khanate is considered one of the best Azerbaijani lyric poets.

The legendary poetess was an excellent example of intelligence, aristocracy, philanthropy and classical poetry.

Recognized as an eminent educator of her time, public figure, philanthropist, she won the love of the country. The legendary poet left a deep mark in the cultural and public life of the country.

For the first time, the literary festival will be held in the homeland of the poetess. Famous cultural personalities will participate in the event.

Uzeyir Hajibayli International Music Festival

Many concerts as part of the Uzeyir Hajibayli International Music Festival will take place in Shusha.

Since September 18, 1995, Uzeyir Hajibayli’s birthday has been celebrated in Azerbaijan as National Music Day.

In 2021, the first concert of the festival took place in Shusha.

The National Song and Dance Ensemble performed at the concert under the direction of People’s Artist Agaverdi Pashayev.

People’s Artist Mansur Ibrahimov, Honored Artists Gochag Asgarov, Anar Shushali, Nargiz Karimova, Arzu Aliyeva and others delighted the audience with unique examples of Azerbaijani national music.

Public figures also visited People’s Artist Bulbul’s House and Natavan Spring, and laid flowers in front of statues of poetess Natavan, Uzeyir Hajibayli and singer Bulbul.

Cultural Gems of Shusha City

The Ministry of Culture has launched a new project “Cultural Gems of Shusha City”.

The project will consist of seven sections for wide coverage of the city’s rich cultural heritage: “Chronicle of Shusha Architecture”, “Azerbaijani Music Temple – Shusha”, “Mugham Home – Shusha”, “Shusha School of Karabakh carpet weaving – Shusha”, “The literary life of Shusha”, “People of Shusha”, “The style of clothing of Shusha”.

Call of Choucha

A radio program “Shusha Calling” was launched in Azerbaijan

The radio project is initiated by the Ministry of Culture, the State Service for the Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage as well as AzerNyuMedia and Avto FM.

The project will consist of five parts dedicated to the culture, history and way of life of Shusha.

The radio show airs every Friday. The project manager is Kamran Gasimov, presenter – RJ Yaqut, sound engineer – Yashar Bakhish, consultant – historian Elchin Ahmadov.

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James C. Tibbs