Sixteen-year-old Alex struggles to find his place in conservative Armenian society. Many people do not accept him, or his style of dressing: his dyed hair, face tattoos and clothing are seen as an affront to traditional values.Alex finds himself spending a lot of time at home, alone. An artist and a musician, Alex fears his art will never be accepted in Armenia. The divide that exists in society was recently underscored by a clash in the capital Yerevan over a contemporary dance performance near the city’s central Republic Square metro station. Media outlets have called the conflict “Armenia’s cultural revolution.” Conservative groups have called the performance an act of Satanism and are labelling those who performed and watched Satanists. Alex was in the audience that day, and witnessed the attacks on the performers. He has also had problems with his art. A recent concert he held in the basement of Yerevan’s Komitas State Conservatory was interrupted by the police. Critics labelled his music a satanic act as well. But for Alex and his friends, the music is a form of rebellion, an act of fearlessness and an attempt to carve out creative freedom at home.
Faced with high unemployment and political instability, young Armenians struggle to balance a desire to stay and the push to live abroad.