The Pain of the Painter

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“When I started learning more about the Armenian genocide, I was deeply shaken by the fact that pregnant women and children were being massacred. And I started painting pregnant women. I worked for one year on a series dedicated to those innocent victims, trying to feel the pain. Eventually, I was able to organize an exhibition at the Gyumri Art … Continue reading “The Pain of the Painter”

Buried to Survive

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“The family of my mother’s grandfather is from Kars. My grandfather was a small child when the Turks attacked Armenians during the Genocide. Seeing that there’s no way to escape and fearing that children will also be murdered, his parents buried him in the ground, only leaving his mouth open so that he can breathe. He remained buried for two … Continue reading “Buried to Survive”

Grandfather’s Songs

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“My grandfather on mom’s side was from the Mush area. During the Genocide they escaped to Armenia, but he didn’t speak much about it. He was avoiding it. But I remember that he was playing duduk [traditional Armenian double-reed woodwind flute made of apricot wood] and was singing Mush songs, so I grew up listening to these songs. He was … Continue reading “Grandfather’s Songs”

The Stranger and The Helicopter

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“I was with a friend in Finland. We went to Lapland, took a tour there. And then we thought, “Hey, let’s hitchhike from the Polar Circle to Helsinki.” We decided to try it to see if we can do that, because nobody lived there. We wanted to see how far we can get. So the first driver, a tall Finnish … Continue reading “The Stranger and The Helicopter”


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“In the town of Ashtarak, I worked as a waiter in a cafe where I met John, the father of Patil (“Snowflake” in Armenian). Eventually, we became close friends. I was John’s only friend in Armenia, his wife and daughter weren’t here at that time. We had many hard and interesting days together. And when John’s wife and Patil arrived, … Continue reading “Snowflake”