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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 

Meghri: A Fuselage of Memory

There is a Facebook group of Meghri natives that is more active than the official pages of many institutions. It is, however, also isolated, living a separate life, disconnected from the rest of the digital world just like the actual city.

Notes From a Future Museum: Bagging Up Ideologies

How a black evening handbag found among countless items in Yerevan’s largest flea market revealed a paradigmatic shift from the egalitarian criteria of Soviet ideology, which accorded functional objects with purely practical properties.

Interrupted Flavors: Thoughts on Armenian Cuisine

Attitudes toward food and culinary art can reveal much about a people’s past and future. Ella Kanagerian writes that we are trying to work with our cultural influences and approach the concept of national cuisine more consciously.

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