Liquor and Christianity are similar to the effect that they both have the ability to alter one’s state of mind and dull one’s senses. Where alcohol is able to intoxicate physically, as a result of the release of inhibitory chemicals in the brain, Christianity’s ability to intoxicate is of a wildly complex, counterintuitive, and entirely mental nature. Christianity is grounded on the assumption that the real world is attainable only after death, in the form of an afterlife, and is promised only to the pious.
Being an Armenian writer often implies that you are stereotyped into the vicinity of the Kardashians, praised for Cher’s comeback, and often eluded to William Saroyan. Some may even latch onto to the idea of Yerevan magazine to imply what it’s like for Armenians seeking journalism – if we are not writing for an Armenian publication, we must be writing about being Armenian, right?
It’s hard learning Armenian. The obviousness of that statement is clear to anyone who knows the language. For students and speakers of the language alike, it’s indisputable. The ancient, convoluted pronunciation rules; the syntactical flexibility that allows you to say the same thing with five words 20 different ways and still get your point across; the myriad dialects suggestive of a much larger land than currently exists – which serves to remind of the vast lands Armenians once inhabited before successive onslaughts and submissions.
Erected adjacent to the entrance of newly established cities and churches, or to commemorate military victories, khatchkars (cross-stones) have traditionally signified genesis.
Abdullah Demirbas is a man on a mission. The mayor of Diyarbakir’s central district strives to restore some of the city’s multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character through a series of initiatives to renovate places of worship, adopt multi-lingualism, and encourage those with roots in the city to return.
The petroglyphs, or rock engravings, of Ughtasar can be found all over Yerevan; they are inscribed onto silver jewelry, painted onto coffee cups, traced into hand-made pottery, and they adorn the walls of cafes. Reaching the actual petroglyphs of Ughtasar (“ught” meaning camel and “sar” meaning mountain, due to the resemblance of its peaks to the humps of a camel) can be a bit of a challenge, and as with most of Armenia’s noteworthy sites this provides half of the trip’s excitement and intrigue.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles – my parents moved to the U.S. in the mid-1970s from Lebanon. As a kid, my parents would play a lot of Armenian music in the house. We visited Armenia when I was 6, and my folks took me and my siblings to see orchestral concerts and operas. I think all of that nurtured my love for music. I also started taking piano lessons around the time of our Armenia trip, and stuck with it for about ten years.
I was born in Yerevan in the spring of 71. Went for four years to Terlemezian college of art (painting), continued to the academy (graphics) and in May 93 left Armenia to Israel. 16 years in Tel Aviv, 2 years in Amsterdam, now I am trying my luck back home in Hayastan. Many questions, few answers, but its an ongoing process of reconnection and I was prepared for it before I made the leap forward. Its challenging but very interesting experience.
Expressing yourself is probably one of the most important things you can do in your life. Photography is magic. Since it started about 200 years ago it still hasn’t left us. Mediums like film and music owe a lot of their method to photography. For me personally, I love capturing moments, things that move, things that need to stand still to be more appreciated. To me photography is all about the details.
There are hundreds of young, talented Armenians exploring the bounds of art and identity through countless means including music and film. They interpret culture through their own individual lens. Haytoug sat down with some of these creative individuals to explore their thoughts on culture and identity.