Born in Elizavetpol (today Ganja, Azerbaijan), Nersik Stepanyan was an Armenian Bolshevik activist and Party theoretician. A participant in the Russian Revolution in the Caucasus, Stepanyan later became known for his sensitive approach toward national cultures and traditions. A fearless public intellectual, he was also the most vocal critic of Soviet Georgian leader Lavrentiy Beria within the Soviet Armenian political elite. Tragically, Stepanyan’s arrest by Beria’s men in the summer of 1936 set the stage for the Stalinist Purges in the republic. The series is hosted by historian Pietro A. Shakarian and produced by Sona Nersesyan.
A native of Aleksandropol (Gyumri), Shushanik Kurghinyan was a prominent Armenian writer, feminist, and social activist. Inspired by the 1905 Russian Revolution, she became a tireless advocate of the working people and advocated for their cause in her poetry. She was also a staunch advocate for women's rights, and she cared for Armenian refugees fleeing the 1915 Genocide in Rostov-on-Don. She later returned to Armenia, at the urging of her old friend Aleksandr Myasnikyan, during the NEP period. The series is hosted by historian Pietro A. Shakarian and produced by Sona Nersesyan.
The first episode in the series focuses on Soviet Armenian statesman Aleksandr Myasnikyan. An Armenian from Nor Nakhijevan (Rostov-on-Don), Myasnikyan was sent to Armenia by Lenin in 1921. His mission was to implement a more moderate approach toward governance, in line with Lenin’s New Economic Policy (NEP). Myasnikyan inaugurated the NEP era in Armenia, allowing the republic to rebuild and stabilize after the 1915 Genocide and the experience of the First Republic. The series is hosted by historian Pietro A. Shakarian and produced by Sona Nersesyan.