Creatively focused and noteworthyPhoto credit: Norayr Kasper, "I Will Talk to You About Time." Fotoistanbul 2015.
Got Armenia on your mind? Sign up for one of these events this summer! There has never been a better time to be young and Armenian. Armenia’s recent Velvet Revolution showed what the youth could accomplish when they work together to bridge the gaps, boundaries, and barriers that have prevented proactive change for far too long. Well, for those of us who live in the diaspora, there is another revolution unfolding, and we are calling on you, your friends and foes alike—our brothers and sisters across the world—to join the call in creating a newer, more inclusive and interactive vision for our diaspora going forward. If you’re wondering how we plan on going about this, you may want to check out ArtLinks, YouthLinks, and the Forum—all run by the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society (“Hamazkayin” henceforth). Read on for a breakdown of these initiatives and how you can get involved in creating a New Armenia: Diaspora edition!
From Van to Sherman: Unearthing the unfinished legacy of Arshile Gorky Arshile Gorky’s pioneering art has made him the subject of several books, documentaries, and even a nonprofit foundation dedicated to understanding his work. Yet, his revolutionary legacy also lives on outside of the art world—in one of the most unexpected of places—his home. We ventured to find this artistic oasis and, in doing so, learned more about the man behind the painting. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Gorky’s passing and the unassuming farmhouse that once inspired one of the 20th century’s best painters continues to inspire new generations.
100 years in 10 days: (Re)Discovering Sasun and the beauty of the Armenian Highlands One of the few constants in my life has been Sasun, a land on which no living relative has ever set foot. In the summer of 2017, I had the opportunity to discover the homeland of my ancestors, and along the way, encountered a lost branch of my family tree— of our collective Armenian family. Our survivor great-grandparents would describe those who were “left behind” during the genocide. These Armenians remained in what became the Republic of Turkey and were forced to hide or completely forgo their Armenian identities, living out the rest of their days as Kurds or Turks. We had the privilege to meet with some of these “Hidden Armenians,” who taught us that, just as 19th-century Sasun is impossible to imagine without Armenians, an Armenian resurgence in 21st-century Sasun can only happen with their inclusion.
Uncovering the 'Hidden Road' to Armenia’s most isolated communities Too often, diasporans have admired Armenia from afar with an idealistic gaze, becoming disappointed when she does not meet their lofty expectations. The defeatist slogan of '"yerkiruh yerkir chi" (“the country is not a country”) propagated by locals has corroded many good efforts at cleansing the nation of its ills. But alongside the ringing nihilism, a vibrant, positive force has taken hold in Armenia. A new generation of diasporans and locals—the post-Soviet babies—has grown up with the nascent republic and, using youthful sensibility, is building a nation worthy of its citizens. One such example is the Hidden Road Initiative (HRI), a nonprofit aimed at supplying rural, mostly isolated villages in Armenia with the tools to live and thrive in their local environments
What’s in a language? A guide to moving beyond shame and finding love in our mother tongue As diasporans, we all know the drill: Speak Armenian, cook Armenian, marry Armenian—be as Armenian as you can in an unArmenian nation, so that our culture will not "disappear off the map." Being Armenian can, oftentimes, feel like a burden—but it does not have to be. If you’ve ever been scolded or made uncomfortable for not speaking Armenian, this guide will speak to you—in a welcoming, possibly therapeutic, way