Michael Poghosian (Armenia, 1954) Michael Poghosian is a highly regarded and well-loved actor, who uses humour and satire to vividly expose the problems of a society in transition. Through a variety of masks, disguises and costumes, expressive body language, song and exaggeration, Poghosian portrays human foibles and confusions, at the same time encouraging self-examination and social awareness. His satire shines a spotlight on social injustice, corruption and aspects of political populism in present day Armenia and, by ridiculing the tricks and wiles of various people in society, he creates spaces where his audience can laugh as well as reflect. His many outlandish characters and their provocative statements are so popular with local audiences that their gestures are mimicked and their phrases have become colloquialisms. Initially a member of an actors’ group touring Armenia, Russia, Hungary and Syria, among other places, he has acted in and directed numerous films and television series, and now works with other actors in script writing, management and production, as well as continuing to create new performances. This Award honours Michael Poghosian for his comic relief and for his contribution to the development of an open society.