արդ եւս|in view 2024 Awardees

The Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation announces the ten winners of the Western Armenian Culture Grant
24 apr 2024

Culture and intellectual creativity as conduits for development and progress were clearly evident in this year’s արդ եւս|in view culture programme initiated by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Our invitation to cultural renewal and resilience through the Armenian language was met with enthusiasm and thought-provoking ambition.

In total, 76 applications were received. The selection process was quite competitive as there was an unprecedented number of qualified projects which used culture as a vehicle for language vitality and as an expression of contemporaneity. A promising momentum was observed through the applications: new talents and thinkers creating through Western Armenian, and established creatives continuing to enrich the cultural milieu, helping it to keep in step with the world.

Through their projects, the selected creatives aim to use culture as a vehicle for lasting values, enhancing the potential that it has to challenge and transform their own communities, and to bring renewal to the Armenian language. At the same time, through contemporary and relatable media, the projects aim to bring new values to old paradigms by interweaving their own realities and perceptions into the heritage that is being cherished, thus becoming the vessels through which engagement with personal cultural memory is celebrated and built upon.

The ten chosen projects to be awarded a grant in 2024 are:

  • Armand Yervant Tufenkian and Tamer Hassan (USA) for “Gab Gar” (Կապ կար).

A film installation consisting of a short film and several short silent 16mm film loops. The conversations in Western Armenian with the artisan rug repairer Hayk Oltaci range from stories of his personal history as an Armenian growing up in Istanbul, to the technical processes of rug repair, to the significance of the symbols and ornamentation in the rugs. The project is a testament to the survival of shared culture—a culture being actively maintained through the use of the language, in dialogue with the rugs being repaired in the shop. The tactility of this process connects viewers to a common history, inducing an engagement with their own cultural memory.

  • Av0 Kaprealian (Germany) for “Being a Letter”.

A film project including theatrical scenes, performance art, documentary, fiction, and archival footage, tracing the love story and life parallels of Roupen Sevag and his wife Helen Apell and a modern Armenian-German couple, through two symbolic trips—a real one to Armenia and a virtual-fictional one to Western Armenia. Intertwined with tragedy, loss, love, war, political engagement, identity crisis, and coming to terms with harsh and changing realities, the film takes us on a creative journey through past and present, analysing diasporic identities and using language as a natural tool for self-recognition.

  • Garen Darakjian and Souren Khedeshian (Lebanon) for “The Lebanese Armenian Theatre”.

A documentary about the history of Lebanese Armenian theatre, using archival materials and interviews. Tracing the history of Armenian theatre in Lebanon through the decades past, the documentary also deals with present day challenges, tackling topics such as the role of art, and especially theatre, in bringing Armenians together. Nostalgia towards the past is woven into the potential that theatre has in keeping the language vibrant, and to highlight shared values and history. Theatre is seen as a form of resilience for a community that prevailed through war and untold hardship.

  • Gohar Martirosyan (Armenia) for “Mount A”.

A publication and stereoscopic VR film to be meticulously crafted through the utilization of an interactive 3D programme, representing an avant-garde cinematic venture, replicating spatial and ambient experiences, offering an immersive odyssey for the audience. The focal point of the film is Mount Ararat, assuming a personified role, and functioning as a mystical character engaging with the audiences in the language, and becoming a conduit for revealing knowledge. The cinematic narrative is inspired by René Daumal’s book “Mount Analogue”, an intersection of art and philosophy, which will be translated into Western Armenian as part of the project.

  • Hasmik Ghazaryan and Christian Batikian (Armenia/France) for “Jardin qui t’a rêvé”.

A documentary about the contemporary writer Krikor Beledian. This curated exploration of the writer’s life and work is to be presented through three phases: “Paris”, holding great importance to the author, his literary works, and the memories of other prominent Armenian writers; “Where the Writer Comes From”, tacking his origins and the early narrative, drawing profound inspiration from Beirut; and “Ongoing Life”, the third phase focusing on chronicling the writer’s life events. The work aims to address the notable absence of archival video materials or films documenting the voices of the first and second generations of post-Genocide writers.

  • Lusine Galstyan and Eliza Baghdiyan (Armenia/Switzerland) for “Mountains Calling: A Western Armenian Journey”.

A concert series and original music creation through which the Tiezerk band will present the richness of Western Armenian poetry and the uniqueness of modern Armenian music. Inspired by the poem “Antasdan” by Taniel Varoujan, there will be four concert collaborations in four different genres of music reflecting the different parts of the world, including indie folk music, electronic music, folk rock, and choir and classical quartet. Through collaboration with various musicians, artists and creators, new songs will be created.

  • Maral Tavitian (USA) for “The Ones Who Stayed”.

A multimedia project on the history and contemporary life of the Armenians of Istanbul, a community that has cultivated its language and culture in a country that tried to bury its past. The final outcome will consist of a narrative nonfiction article and short film spotlighting a community that has survived despite the odds, exploring broader themes of indigenous peoples’ rights and the cultural practices of little-known groups around the world, offering a moving story of survival in times of tremendous destruction and upheaval around the world.

  • Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art (ACCEA/NPAK) for “WestArm Laboratory”.

An art laboratory in Armenia that involves research, discussions, lectures and the creation of artworks to be exhibited. The project is designed to research and showcase Western Armenian culture from a contemporary art perspective, encompassing various media, including visual arts, video art, performance, and poetry, while public events will feature roundtables, poetry and prose readings to engage the community. The project will create a number of original works and an archive of discussions in the form of video recordings, which will be part of an interactive archive on the ACCEA website. It will create an artistic study area in the art center, which will enable an omnidirectional conversation about the language and permanence of collective culture.

  • Olivia Melkonian (UK) for “Resurrection”.

A music album adapting Western Armenian folk songs and musical traditions into electronic dance music. Working with artists of Armenian and neighbouring community descent, the album will encompass a live musical element paired with new music technologies and means of production. Inspired by the work of Gomidas and the nature of musical preservations, the project aims to bridge the gap between traditional Armenian music and its presentation in the modern world. Resurrection artistically challenges cultural imagination, paying respect to the past while exploring how these skills and knowledge can be sustainable and creatively transmitted.

  • Shoghag Ohannessian, Varak Karakashian, Serge Manouguian, Araz Kojayan (Lebanon) for “Vazrig Loustqi”.

A Western Armenian science fiction graphic novel with an avant-garde flair that addresses a series of absurd events happening in the city of Bourj Hammoud through the experiences of the protagonist. The novel, based on the existing Armenian community living in Beirut, is completely hand-illustrated. The narrative addresses key aspects that build the understanding of the city as well as how people relate to it and remember it. The project is an exercise in weaving a relatable story using the living environment, hand in hand with the cultural and linguistic habits of the local community.

Cookies settings

Cookies Selection

This website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, security, and its website performance. We may also use cookies to share information on social media and to display messages and advertisements personalised to your interests, both on our website and in others.