submission #ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'In front of William Saroyan bust' by Varoujan Der Simonian At a time when people in Armenia are mourning the fallen heroes of Artsakh, one man seeks wisdom from the "crying" bust of the mid-twentieth century Armenian American writer William Saroyan in his hometown, Fresno.
submission #ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'The exiled crane' (Artsakh trilogy, #3) by Harasharzh Generations of Armenians have been haunted by the crane, one of the most potent and emotive symbols ingrained in the Armenian psyche. Ever since Komitas Vardapet addressed the bird in his soulful song of a wanderer, “Oh crane, don’t you have news from our homeland?” it has been associated with ill omen, leaving the question unanswered. In the final poem of the “Artsakh Trilogy” Harasharzh gives an ironic twist to the folk-based story of the past. Steeped in renaissance style and contemporary references, the poet’s words act like a mantra in these trying days.
submission #ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'Vaspurakan’s echo' (Artsakh trilogy, #1) by Harasharzh Can we expect war to give rise to creative beauty? What is the role of poets in contemporary warfare where sensational media leaves little to the imagination? Do poets still have to bear testimony to war? Stir feelings? Raise arguments? Can war poetry become a path to redefine identity? In "Vaspurakan's Echo," the first poem of the "Artsakh Trilogy," Harasharzh, a young American-Armenian poet, draws answers from history, literature, and the spaces between.
analysis A brief introduction to Artsakh's culture: Part II – The Artsakh/Karabakh dialect With the recent outbreak of war in Artsakh, it is now more essential than ever to learn about the history of Artsakh when trying to understand the intensifying situation. Conflicting reports are widespread, misinformation is prevalent, and individuals with suspicious motives are a constant threat in falsifying the history of Artsakh. Through h-pem and its efforts to inspire young Armenians to learn and embrace the Armenian homeland and its culture, we provide our readers with a brief introduction into the culture of Artsakh, consisting of some essential “facts you should know.” This series is not intended to be exhaustive and we welcome any suggestions for additions you may have!
multimediaGuide Poem | Artsakh’s ‘The legend of the mountains’ On Sept. 27, the peaceful people of Artsakh awoke to the sound of missile strikes crashing down on their homes. In the two weeks since, this storied, ancient homeland has become the battleground for renewed violence. As an arts and cultural platform, we hope to offer some solace, strength, and solidarity through the written form. The words of beloved Artsakhtsi poet and playwright, Vazgen Ovian (1932-1987), ring as true today as they did when he penned them over 50 years ago…
feature On this day - Jun.15, 1899: avant garde artist and sculptor Yervand Kochar was born On this day in 1899, Yervand Kochar was born. An avant garde artist and sculptor, Kochar was an integral force in the development of 20th century art, founding the Painting in Space art “movement”—in its most literal sense.
submission Essay | 'The dual burden of immigrant children' by Sophia Hadeshian “Shining light on the overlooked and unspoken topic of the sociological dual burden within immigrant children... I have found a lack of coverage of this topic with respect to immigrant women.” In this very personal and candid piece, Sareen Hadeshian explores the pressures on intergenerational relations in immigrant families and asks important questions about generational trauma, love of family and culture, and managing expectations.
collaboration #IsolateWithHPem episode 8: Architect and designer Etienne Bastormagi Running out of juice during these trying times? Well, we've got you covered! On April 6, h-pem kicked-off its social connection initiative #IsolateWithHPem. For the foreseeable future, we will periodically post exclusive videos from our talented friends, who are professionals in their respective fields—from cooking and dance to comedy, journalism, and beyond. Their snappy tutorials will help us all combat the challenges posed by physical isolation through a virtual learning hub. Stay tuned!
inPicture Armenian mythology: 6 ancient pagan gods we still love today As a kid, three VHS tapes I’d play over and over—to a point, where I had memorized every single word recorded: Disney’s “Aladdin,” the first “Harry Potter” movie (insert “Sorcerer’s” vs. “Philosopher’s” debate here) and, of course, the funky, gospel-soundtracked “Hercules.” You remember the lyrics: "Who put the 'glad' in 'gladiator?' HERC-U-LES! Whose daring deeds are great theater? HERC-U-LES!" All 9-year-old geeks have obsessed over Greek mythology, Ancient Egyptian history, or dinosaurs and fossils at one point. My weakness: the false gods of Mount Olympia! We Armenians aren’t too different from the Greeks, from geopolitical oppression by neighboring empires, to heavy-liquor-and-folk-dance feasts, our histories often click in harmony. And that’s especially the case for our mythologies where our gods aren’t much different (or less extravagant!). Which gods are the most popular in Armenian mythology and what features make them our all-time-favorites? Read on to find out!