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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 

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.

“Michael Jackson, Know This Well, I Can’t Bear This Pain”

The “Top Ten of Rabiz” was a series of albums produced by a group of young men trying to reproduce the scattered reality of the 1990s through the language of music and an experimental format that was never really “rabiz.”

Back to the Future: The Evolution of Post-Soviet Aesthetic in Armenian Fashion

The Armenian love for following trends is something that is a part of the collective cultural and political history. And that tendency became stronger after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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