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The Spitak earthquake: Healing through music three decades on

Armenian Earthquake

December 07, 2020


By Loucig Guloyan-Srabian


The Spitak earthquake: Healing through music three decades on

While the world has turned a blind eye to the current atrocities, the displacement of thousands of native Armenians, and the ethnic cleansing in Artsakh, it is ironic to remember that 32 years ago today, it took an earthquake to put Armenia on the world map, as world-famous artists chipped into fundraising efforts with the talents they possessed.

Armenia was on the brink of emerging from behind what was the iron curtain of the Soviet Union, when a 6.8-magnitude earthquake ravaged the northern part of the country within 30 seconds. It claimed the lives of more than 25,000 people, wiped out the city of Spitak, and left the city of Gyumri in complete ruins.

The two bell towers of the Cathedral of the Seven Wounds of the Holy Mother of God in Gyumri lie toppled in the church yard since 1988. They have since been replaced by replicas. However, the snow-dressed wounds of the original towers stand as stark reminders of one of the worst disasters in the history of Armenia.

To this day, people still live in temporary dwellings in the devasted areas, while poignant tales of loss, grief, hope, and resilience continue to raise awareness of the crisis.


Watch h-pem’s take on three decades of healing through artistic expression and charitable support!


  • "Spitak"

    (Official trailer)

  • "Smoke on the Water"

    Rock Aid Armenia

  • "Out of the Ruins"

    By Michael Nyman

  • "Pour Toi Armenie"

  • "Leninagone"

    By Tigran Hamasyan (Official video)

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