Stories through the world of imagesPhoto credit: Norayr Kasper, "I Will Talk to You About Time." Fotoistanbul 2015.
Meet the young Armenian artists of Lebanon To bring something into existence is to create—and “creativity takes courage.” World-renowned French painter Henri Matisse was not wrong when he said these words. Youth are often not given the chance (or the encouragement) in the world of scribbling and sketching. The situation is not too different in the capital of Lebanon, where the Armenian youth of Beirut are often required to get into the more “serious” fields of study. On Sept. 5, the Hamazkayin Lucy Tutunjian Art Gallery held the opening of their first “Collective Exhibition of Young Artists,” a long-overdue and most welcomed event. We at h-pem make it one of our top priorities to ensure that Armenian artists from all around the globe get the exposure they deserve on our platforms. That is why we went ahead and asked the Beirut exhibition participants three simple questions. Through their answers, we present you the 10 young artists who got the opportunity to display and sell their art at the gallery.
Peaceful in Kars: A photo story Unlike the snow-covered, gloomy provincial town where the murders of Orhan Pamuk’s imagination took place, the Kars that welcomed my friend and me on our short trip to Western Armenia was warm, lively, and hospitable; enough to set my soul at ease, after a tumultuous arrival in the country.
'Akh, Tamar!': A photo story Every night, a beautiful Armenian maiden named Tamar would wave a light from Akhtamar Island’s shore in the direction of her lover, who would then swim to her from the mainland to reunite in silence. But Tamar was a princess and the boy, a commoner. When her father found out about their secret meetings, his anger got the best of him. As Tamar was lighting her lover’s way, her father approached her and blew out the light. Without a glow to guide him across Lake Van, the boy drowned in the darkness of the night, wailing, “Akh, Tamar!” (“Oh, Tamar!”).
Navasard: 11 facts about the Armenian New Year you never knew about! We Armenians love our pagan festivals: From Vardavar to Trndez to Boon Barekendan, even the most pious Christians will celebrate these “Christianized” holidays with glee. Yet, the most important date for our ancestors in the pre-Christian era is notably missing from our calendars today. Read on to learn about the ancient Armenian holiday of Navasard!
Trndez/Tiarnundaraj: 9 things you didn't know about the age-old Armenian tradition Have you ever witnessed the age-old Armenian tradition of jumping over a ceremonial bonfire in February? Perhaps you’ve participated the longstanding custom, but never understood the story behind it. The ritual has many names: Trndez, Tiarnundaraj, Derendez—but whatever you call it, it’s definitely one of the most fascinating—and potentially dangerous—Armenian traditions, still carried on today.
Hye Kin: The untold story of Armenian women’s resistance Once important figures aside historic fedayis (guerrilla fighters), Armenian women are often left out of our stories of resistance. Delving into this history, we can see that they had major roles as writers, political activists, and revolutionaries, and that Armenian women continue in this tradition of resistance today. In Armenia’s regions under direct military threat, they are the backbone of a non-violent resistance movement supporting military action and forging new paths to Armenian strength and unity.
36 Hours in Tiflis For centuries, Georgia (the country, not the U.S state) held a special place in the hearts of many Armenians. Her capital, Tbilisi (or “Tiflis” as it’s known to Armenians), was, not too long ago, a major center of Armenian cosmopolitan life, where Eastern Armenian culture, literature, and political life flourished. This summer, my family and I decided to check out what’s left of her Armenian past. In just a day and a half, we too fell in this love with this enchanting city, and realized that she still has so much more to offer.
A millennial’s guide to Western Armenia Many lists float around the Interweb for everything from the "Top 10 Reasons to Recycle" to the "11 Best Pizza Toppings, Ranked." Though environmental conservation and delicious pizza are no doubt important, there also exist a range of topics that have not yet been explored, uncovered, or synthesized on the web. To date, no such user-friendly resource exists for visiting the western half of our historic homeland, which we commonly refer to as Western Armenia, but is located today within the confines of the Republic of Turkey. A land that, for over two millennia, teemed with Armenian culture has been all but relegated to our dreams, with few Armenians ever having visited the towns and villages of their ancestors in the past century. We hope to change that with this guide...and with your help!