Using art to prevent catastrophes instead of reacting to them
Ishkhanyan’s documentary “Sleep art”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzqzPpVsK-g
More than 120,000 people remain trapped in the Republic of Artsakh (or Nagorno-Karabakh) due to Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin (Berdzor) corridor, as this crisis enters its 25th day.
This interview is a continuation of the collaboration between Groong and 168 Hours aiming to bring you more English-language coverage on the developments of this very serious humanitarian crisis in progress.
Episode 198 | Recorded: January 5, 2023
The blockade of Artsakh is 25 days old. More than 120K people are at risk of being famished.
Yet, in Yerevan and Armenia in general life goes on as usual. On NY’s eve, as the clock struck 12, fireworks were launched all over the city. The entire city seemed to be one big Disneyland. Watching the fireworks was most surreal from Yerablur.
The Armenian authorities are prone to blaming anyone they can find for the situation that has been created. At times they’ve blamed the voters, other times they’ve blamed Russia and the Russian peacekeeping force.
Simultaneous to this, Armenia says that Artsakh is no longer their problem and turns to France, the US, or the EU for help, including sending in peacekeepers or observer missions.
Hovhannes, earlier in 2022 as news about the potential of ceding Aghavno/Berdzor surfaced, a group of artists including yourself went to Aghavno to stay there and raise awareness of the situation among the Armenian public. In fact, I visited for you and I left a few days prior to Aghavno being emptied, while you stayed until the end.
Hovahnnes, tell us about Akn Und Akan.
We hope you found our Conversations on Groong helpful, we invite your feedback and your suggestions. You can find us on most social media and podcast platforms. Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts.
Hovhannes Ishkhanyan, writer, documentary filmmaker, publicist, co-founder of Eye for an Eye (Akn Und Akan), a community of documentarians. Hovhannes has a Master’s in journalism from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs.
Hovik Manucharyan is an information security engineer who moved from Seattle to Armenia in 2022. He co-founded the ANN/Groong podcast in 2020 and has been a contributor to Groong News since the late 1990s.