Vrouyr was 20 years old when his family moved to Armenia from Aleppo, Syria. It has been already 3 years since Vrouyr has been living in Armenia. But despite all the possible problems he might have had, while starting a new life here in Yerevan, he remains a very active, positive and humorous guy.
Hayk, a 5-year-old boy, has not yet had the chance to walk on his own. He was born at 5.5 months, with a weight of 600 grams, and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Since then, Paytsar, his mother, has been fighting for Hayk’s health. By now, due to friends and donations, she could provide health procedures for Hayk. The final operation will be in Germany, in September. The mother and her son hope that next year, Hayk will walk, play and go to school as all children do.
To take a step
Is folk music becoming extinct or is it reviving? Arik Grigoryan, a member of the folk rock band “The Bambir,” has started his own approach to preserving folk music. He gives experimental music classes at “Tumo” center and has a separate group with some of the students. Their playlist typically consists of transformed folk music.
An experimental video that portrays the two different paths Armenia's generation of the 1990s took… Interconnected youth who migrated to different countries in the '90s with their families and spent years living there, tell their stories to a close person – a person who, unlike themselves, stayed.
In 1988 a deadly earthquake hit Gyumri killing about 25,000 people and leaving Armenia's second biggest city in ruins. The reconstruction has been slow, and almost three decades years on the image of Gyumri is still that of a ghost town. Yet, changes are happening and Nancy, a small cafe in the centre of the city, is sending a signal that color and happiness can live in Gyumri again. Its owners, Anna Yeghoyan and Karen Terteryan, are determined to show how Gyumri did not die forever on that 7th December of 28 years ago."
30-year-old Ani Khachatryan is a free spirit. The mandala-lover loves traveling and sees movement through the prism of her environmental activism - hitchhiking - which is her natural choice. “Hitchhiking is a revolutionary statement in Armenia for me. It is environmentally friendly and a new concept for people to take in as you can help each other with no need to involve money.” The young mother who earns her money with her handmade mandalas of a boy of 7 years, who has hitchhiked across Armenia and beyond, cannot imagine her travels in any other way - she did not quit when she had her child, as hitchhiking reflects who she is.
Life On the Road
The end of the 1980s was the Soviet Union’s twilight - uncertainty gripped all layers and sectors of society and art was no exception. In then-Soviet Armenia, a few artists felt there was a sharp gap between art and society and a new art movement appeared - its actions emphasized that very gap as their members believed artists should take the risk and represent reality.
Cardboard combat machinery is not easy to come by in Yerevan, as in most capitals. It is no surprise then that Artak Gevorgyan and his foot-powered green tank have received a fair share of attention in December 2015, as a bright emerald object was spotted around the Armenian capital’s centres of power. Once by the National Security Service (NSS) he burnt it to ashes - and got handcuffed. The 25-year-old artist was not that fussed about it as he and his fellow artists at the street art collective Hakakarvac (Counterattack) have been using art to stage protests and raise awareness on political issues - falling under the authorities’ spotlight has come as part of the package. The green walking tanks brought Gevorgyan into the limelight, but the activities of the Yerevan-born artist embraces a much larger range of ventures as he believes that anything around us can become a creative tool. A free spirit, Gevorgyan believes that anything around us can be a creative tool and he’s determined to use them all - be them stickers or electronic music. Yet, he does not consider himself an artist.
The Artist of Non-Art
This is my collection of abandoned spaces in Armenia and in Karabakh. I chose them randomly, at first glance. They have one thing in common: these buildings are sad reminders of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh’s recent, turbulent history. But what is more important is what these spaces say about the present. They show our inability to deal with the consequences of the past. They show our inability to reinterpret these spaces. I filmed four locations.
Marriage is no longer the unchangeable Armenian custom that it once was. Young, urban Armenians today have far greater choices about how to live their lives than in the Soviet era. For some, staying with one person for life no longer seems relevant.
A Chronicle of Exes
When memories prompt action. For most of my childhood, Friendship Park was a no-go zone, a scary place where children were not allowed to play. The voice of Narine Azaryan, Khachatur Azaryan’s daughter, the last director of the Friendship Park, takes us back to Soviet times, when the park was full of people and joy. Through the images from their family photo album, we can witness the park in a different light. For generations of Gyumri residents, Friendship Park and its arches and stage were the city’s calling card. A magical place for art and play. That changed after the 1988 earthquake. This film documents the park’s glorious past, its rebirth and reopening, the work of public and private supporters who believed the park should reclaim its role as a symbol of the city.