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Illustration by Armine Shahbazyan.

Editor's note:

Reality is made up from mostly unseen things. Like atoms and electrons, these particles collide and form threads that remain invisible to us, yet impact our very being, and structure the environments that we inhabit. In an everyday language we would call these threads culture or, perhaps even “Et cetera.” But for the Armenian reality, the infinite gamut of the “everything else” is, ironically, often conceptualized as anti-culture, since the latter is deemed to be that which is elevated, sacred and monumentalized. As a result, our cultural landscape and identity appear monolithic, unchanging and stagnant. This perception is cemented by the mass media, which regurgitates stereotypes and nurtures parochial ideas about socio-cultural forms by reinforcing that which is already fixed in the field of visibility, while sidelining everything that flows, pulsates and grows in-between. 

The articles in this section of EVN Report attempt to turn the tide and give a much-needed critical spotlight to the forgotten, ignored, misunderstood, unseen, silenced and even derided cultural phenomena that weave the fabric of our collective past and present. From the mundane to the extraordinary, the topics addressed here reveal the remarkable dynamism of both historical, as well as contemporary Armenian social practices. By stressing the complexities of these experiences, we hope to ignite new dialogues and insights about the evolving implications of what it means to be Armenian in the rapids of our globalized world.

Vigen Galstyan 

Did the Wind Drop? Nora Martirosyan's Optimistic Drama From Artsakh

Director Nora Martirosyan’s film “Should the Wind Drop” reveals the frustrating situation surrounding the airport as a starting point to delve into the history, problems and spirit of Artsakh.

Rediscovering the Body: The Painful Birth of Post-Soviet Performance Art

Although performance art has practically disappeared from the contemporary art scene as an autonomous medium, early practitioners had a profound impact in changing perceptions of the body in Armenia’s post-independence culture.

Notes From a Future Museum: The Aesthetic Politics of Armenian “Chekanka” Art

Hybridizing fine art and mass culture, Soviet-era “chekanka” art generated an unconventional visual world in which ancient and modern mythologies, as well as sexual and political desires could be blended into a patently local cultural narrative.

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