Baku 2015: 1st European Games

ASSIGNMENT: Pick one unusual or surprising story that upends popular preconceptions of your country.

In June 2015, Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is set to host the first ever European games. The following video, produced by EuroNews, details the complex operation that goes into producing such a large-scale event. It does a great job of providing a comprehensive look into the construction, cost, infrastructure, but most importantly, national pride that surrounds “Baku 2015”.

(Find the text version here.)

Whereas current news focuses on the ongoing drama between Azerbaijan and Armenia, this piece instead focuses on telling the story of Azerbaijan in an international context in a positive, progress-centered manner. Testimonies from prominent figures involved in Baku 2015 speak to the cohesiveness of the operation, and impressive visuals provide evidence of the headway Azerbaijan has made.

The senior engineer of the Games, Javid Najafov is pictured, saying:

‘‘This is the biggest construction in Azerbaijan and has been transformed in a very short period of time. Everything you see around here has been built in just two years. Just two years ago it was a swamp and had some ponds over here.”

This is accompanied with a time-lapse image of construction of the National Stadium, a 500 million Euro project.

Amid concerns surrounding preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil, It is refreshing to see that even with tension in other scopes of international relations, Azerbaijan is confident and excited for the upcoming months.

Yana Kudryavtseva, an Azeri rhythmic gymnast, rehearsing her routine.

Yana Kudryavtseva, an Azeri rhythmic gymnast, rehearsing her routine.

 

Plans for the National Stadium, scheduled to be finished later this month.

Plans for the National Stadium, scheduled to be finished later this month.

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