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CRITICS’ FORUM: A Year of Ventures and Growth

CRITICS’ FORUM: A Year of Ventures and Growth

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the ANCA Grassroots Conference, which examined the interplay between Armenian arts and activism.

December 31st, 2013

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A Monumental Purpose: Armenian Heritage Park

A Monumental Purpose: Armenian Heritage Park

After 12 years of planning and hard work, Armenian Heritage Park (also referred to as the Park), located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, on the recently created Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway (hereafter, the Greenway), was finally dedicated on May 22, 2012.

July 3rd, 2013

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Repositioning Diaspora And The Role Of Its Intellectuals

Repositioning Diaspora And The Role Of Its Intellectuals

Over the last few decades, the term “diaspora” has rapidly spread and expanded to take on multiple meanings both inside and outside of academic disciplines.

May 3rd, 2013

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Lamenting Jerusalem: The Armenian Quarter In The Old City

Lamenting Jerusalem: The Armenian Quarter In The Old City

For the last two millennia, Jerusalem has been represented as a space of desire – a place that has been perennially occupied and lost, and an area of which the borders are contested until today.

March 29th, 2013

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The Balkanization of Armenian Theater

The Balkanization of Armenian Theater

After two dismal years, Armenian theater in Los Angeles managed an uptick in both the quantity and quality of productions that graced area stages in 2012.

December 28th, 2012

| Posted in 2013 Special Issue, Arts & Culture, Blogs, Columns, Critics' Forum | Read More »

On the Sidelines, but Noteworthy: Three Documentaries at the AFFMA Film Festival This Weekend

On the Sidelines, but Noteworthy: Three Documentaries at the AFFMA Film Festival This Weekend

The AFFMA Film Festival is less than a week away, and, this year, courtesy of the screeners provided by the organizers of the festival, I had the chance to review several of the documentaries on the program.

November 26th, 2012

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Preserving Armenian History and Culture: Moving into the Digital Age

Preserving Armenian History and Culture: Moving into the Digital Age

As someone who attended Armenian private school, I consider the preservation of Armenian culture an extremely important matter. Preserving Armenian culture, or hayabahbanum, was a constant topic of conversation throughout my primary education – among friends, in class, and in public lectures; it was keenly emphasized for us as children and ingrained in our education.

June 18th, 2012

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Confronting the Limits of Culture and Identity in Arpine Konyalian Grenier’s The Concession Stand: Exaptation at the Margins

Confronting the Limits of Culture and Identity in Arpine Konyalian Grenier’s The Concession Stand: Exaptation at the Margins

In her 2011 publication, The Concession Stand: Exaptation at the Margins, Arpine Konyalian Grenier sets out to puncture rigid formulations of identity that would classify her as an Armenian-American poet. As an Armenian born in Lebanon and living and producing in the United States, Grenier seeks to dismantle reductive formulations of hyphenated identity.

May 31st, 2012

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Spotlighting the Exclusions of Cultural Memory

Spotlighting the Exclusions of Cultural Memory

Artistic collaboration is a productive site where perspectives can meet and reshape each other, generating new imaginings for the artists involved.

February 3rd, 2012

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CRITICS’ FORUM: Occupy Armenian Theater

CRITICS’ FORUM: Occupy Armenian Theater

In the year-end article I wrote last December – months before the Occupy movement launched in New York and spread to 80 countries – I began a quiet protest, lamenting the state of Armenian theater in our corner of the diaspora and calling for increase – and improvement – in its cultural production.

December 30th, 2011

| Posted in 2011 Year End Issue, Arts & Culture, Blogs, Columns, Critics' Forum | Read More »

Filmic Approaches to Catastrophe: Narrative and Trauma in Levon Minasian’s Le Piano and Eric Nazarian’s Bolis

Filmic Approaches to Catastrophe: Narrative and Trauma in Levon Minasian’s Le Piano and Eric Nazarian’s Bolis

This year’s Arpa International Film Festival featured two short films with a storyline informed by an historic catastrophe: Levon Minasian’s Le Piano depicts the musical aspirations and struggles of a child virtuoso, Loussiné, who was orphaned after the earthquake in Leninakan, Armenia in 1988; Eric Nazarian’s Bolis follows the journey of an Armenian oud player, Armenak, who visits Istanbul to perform in an oud festival and find the site of his grandfather’s pre-Genocide oud shop.

November 23rd, 2011

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Paradox and Perspective: The Art of Dr. Kevorkian

Paradox and Perspective: The Art of Dr. Kevorkian

Regardless of your views on assisted suicide, you probably have an opinion about Jack Kevorkian. He was one of those people who, while sometimes courting controversy for the sake of notoriety, at the same time seemed to advocate for something he believed in very strongly – what he considered the very basic human right of the terminally ill to end their pain and suffering through doctor-assisted suicide.

October 3rd, 2011

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Why Teach Our Kids Armenian?

Why Teach Our Kids Armenian?

As a proud graduate of Alex Pilibos, I often like to reflect on the fruits that local Armenian schools have borne over the last forty years

July 2nd, 2011

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Toward an Expanded Notion of the Witness: The Promise of Armenian Oral History Collections

Toward an Expanded Notion of the Witness: The Promise of Armenian Oral History Collections

This spring marks the end of renowned historian Richard Hovannisian’s time at UCLA, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1962 and the first holder of the Armenian Education Foundation (AEF) Chair in Modern Armenian History since 1987. Those who are familiar with Hovannisian’s prolific record as a writer, editor, lecturer, organizer, and professor, might endow the news of his retirement with a hint of euphemism. In fact, during the recent event, “Forever our Professor,” organized in Hovannisian’s honor by his recent and former students, the beloved professor announced that he would return to the UCLA campus the following year to teach a course in Comparative Genocide Studies.

May 27th, 2011

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