Author Archives: Contributor

Pasadena Youth Organize Weekend Retreat at AYF Camp

A small but close-knit group of 40 made their way to AYF camp the weekend of May 21-23 for an annual retreat featuring educationals and fun activities. Organized by the Pasadena ‘Nigol Touman’ chapter of the AYF, the weekend was full of awesome games, delicious sandwiches, and informative educationals. With the youngest attendee being 6 years old, the oldest 47 and the majority under 16, the weekend was vibrant with energy and enthusiasm.

My Armenian Cinema: A Personal Trip To The Armenian Film Landscapes Of A Film Professional

In 1999, I was invited to visit Georgia and Azerbaijan for the first time, as a representative of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Netherlands (IFFR) and a curator of this region. Undoubtedly a very impressive and unforgettable trip was ahead of me, I thought. When everything was arranged, shortly before my trip, and I was holding a return ticket Amsterdam-Tbilisi-Baku in my hands, all of a sudden I remembered to call an Armenian film critic, Susanna Harutunyun, whom I had met during the Berlinale a year before for the first time.

Burn After Reading: Kardash Onnig Finds Liberation from Freedom (and Everything)

Liberation from Freedom is a book of seemingly opposing words, ideas, world views and belief systems—apparent contradictions about the meanings and abstractions of love, freedom, religion, politics, art and ownership. We as human beings in this world have the right to explore, participate, learn, reject and divest as we see best for ourselves and our growth. It is when we become attached by emotion or obligation to the “other”—the guru, the lover, the family—that we lose sight of ourselves and the continuous improvements we must make to better ourselves and the world around us.

Armenian American Educators Association Honors Local High School Seniors

The Armenian American Educators Association, a non-profit organization uniting Armenian educators nation-wide, held its Third Annual Scholarship Luncheon honoring local high school seniors of Armenian descent for academic excellence and extracurricular and community activism on Sunday, May 16. Six graduating Armenian-American students were awarded $500 each for their outstanding work throughout their high school careers.

Third Annual Armenian Food Fair & Fest A Moving Day, A Day Filled With Pride

More than 3,500 people gathered on Saturday, May 22nd at the 3rd Annual Armenian Food Fair and Fest on the Holy Cross Cathedral grounds to enjoy Armenian cuisine, culture, and wonderful entertainment. The Armenian Food Fair and Fest, now in its third year, attracted crowds of people from areas throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, and the San Fernando Valley.

Schiff and the Genocide

I applaud Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, with his new campaign to collect and document some of the tragic stories from Armenian genocide survivors who came to America and to include those accounts in the U.S. Congressional Record. For the last 25 years Turkey has continually denied that its intention was to exterminate its Armenian population during World War I and with its well funded lobby has successfully influenced many of our representatives.

Sara Anjargolian’s Photography: Re-Imagining the Homeland in Diasporic Discourse

Los Angeles-based photographer Sara Anjargolian recently exhibited her work in the engaging and interactive exhibition, How We Live. Along with another of Anjargolian’s recent projects, Not Here, How We Live focuses its lens on Armenia; while the earlier traces the realities of poverty, the latter documents the disruptive effects of labor migration on families. Like many other diasporic artists, Anjargolian also uses her medium as a vehicle for coming to terms with the role of Armenia in her own identity. As artist and theorist R. B. Kitaj notes in First Diasporist Manifesto (1989), “Diasporist [art] is an unfolding commentary on its life-source” (p. 31), and as such, it reveals the responses to the condition of being in the diaspora. Therefore, beyond their immediate subject – the portrayal of poverty-stricken families in Armenia living in dire conditions and eking out a living for themselves – Anjargolian’s photographs also engage larger themes concerning the construction of diasporic identity as it relates to Armenia.

Yerevan Is Burning, Care For Some Nice Lyre Music, Anyone?

Legend has it that Nero played his lyre while Rome was engulfed in flames. Some chroniclers tell us it was the emperor himself who had the city burned — specific parts of the city, to be sure. Something about getting rid of those ugly, smelly, poverty-stricken neighborhoods of Rome to make swaths of real estate available for Nero’s appetite for a lavish palatial complex, enormous enough to house his ego.

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