Cultural Projects 2022: Arts and Culture Against the Crisis

Article, 26.08.2022

In April 2022, the Swiss Cooperation Office in Armenia SCO called for creative and innovative project proposals, which contribute to the development of contemporary arts in Armenia in the aftermath of the twofold crisis of the 2020 War and the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that artists have a valuable role in speaking up for culture, in championing the place of culture, and in helping people make sense of their experiences through creativity and collective encounters of shared experience.

More than 60 proposals were received out of which five projects were selected for funding. The selected projects address the current socio-cultural and socio-economic issues faced by the Armenian population in the midst of regional instability, as artistic contributions to a public debate on Armenia’s immediate future.

Exhibitions and presentations of the below presented projects will take place throughout the year in Armenia and its regions. 

Strangers in a Room Art Installation

Artist Gohar Sargsyan and her artwork
Artist Gohar Sargsyan and her artwork © Gohar Sargsyan

Implementing partner: Gohar Sargsyan, Artist

Duration: 6 months

Art Installation "Strangers in the Room" is a series of graphic portraits and animation installations by artist Gohar Sargsyan. The series of portraits is called "Strangers", where the artist uses memory and impression to describe people she meet in everyday life.

This series allows her to delve deeper into the characteristics, personalities, and moods of people. It allows her to unearth and communicate buried thoughts and stories through the line. This installation is a socio-psychological project in which Gohar attempts to influence viewers by establishing a dialogue between the observer and "strangers". 

Resilience Hubs: Vayots Dzor

First resilience hubs concert at Noravank  monastery
First resilience hubs concert at Noravank monastery © Atken Armenian Foundation

Implementing partner: Atken Armenian Foundation (Canada) through its Armenia-based partner the AKNA “Cultural Society” NGO

Duration: 6 months

This project includes 8 choirs in the Vayots Dzor region (one in Yegheknadzor and 7 in border villages) provides an important, unique, and often the only extra-curricular activity for children living in an unsecure environment.

Music is an excellent tool to build community and mutual understanding, particularly after trauma inflicting war and pandemic-associated social isolation. A Grand Christmas Resilience Concert will bring all participants together at the end of this 6-month project to celebrate the return to life and bring a sense of empowerment.

Theatrical Posters

The selection committee of the Theatrical Posters International Festival Armenia 2022 (TPAM)
The selection committee of the Theatrical Posters International Festival Armenia 2022 (TPAM) © ACT Cultural NGO

Implementing partner: ACT Cultural NGO

Duration: 6 months

It is through a poster that the audience and a theatrical performance meet for the very first time. The poster invites the audience in and accompanies it to the hall.

Theatrical Posters։ International Festival, Armenia 2022 (TPAM) is the first international poster festival in Armenia. It specializes in theatrical posters, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the G. Sundukyan National Academic Theater of Armenia.

Armenia had a very rich tradition of theatrical posters, which gradually disappeared after independence. The main goal is to restore this cultural tradition and encourage other theaters to develop it as well. 

PechaKucha Night Yerevan

PechKucha Night Yerevan 2021
PechKucha Night Yerevan 2021 © PROPER

Implementing partner: PROPER Creative Agency

Duration: 2 months

The project PechaKucha Night Yerevan brings together artists and curators in a renowned format of 20 slides x 20 seconds. Each speaker addresses the current social, cultural, and economic challenges in Armenia, including their responses to the devastating war and pandemic.

PechaKucha series are informal events, which allow to have a light conversation unveiling the subject from diverse points of view.

We get to hear artists’ views and backstage stories and how they interact with each other.

Reality Brought on by War

Implementing partner: 4Plus Documentary Photography Center

Duration: 6 months

As a consequence of Russia-Ukraine War, a large number of Russians and Ukrainians immigrated to Armenia, a country that itself went through a war not long ago in 2020.

The project "Reality Brought on by War" attempts to explore and reveal how migration has affected Armenian social landscape and the ways these communities relate, start a dialogue and talk about war.

Through photo essays and short video footages, photographers Nazik Armenakyan, Piruza Khalapyan, and Vaghinak Ghazaryan aim to document new reality that emerged.