23 March, 2016

participant of the discussion – Anna Shahnazaryan 

During the days of civil protest the most loudly pronounced criticism was based on the tantamount analysis of visual and verbal means (slogans, gestures, sayings) of the resistance organized by protesters. That analysis reveals the indifference of the participants of the struggle towards their chosen means and methodology. That wasn’t merely criticism, but also a call-appeal to the demonstrators and as such it was also a manner of participation in the demonstration. The questions that arise about that mode of participation come from the double nature of the published text. Can a public movement be self-sufficient without inner criticism? What risks does the movement without criticism contain? But on the other hand how pragmatic is the criticism towards the movement, how appropriate is it to target the one on the barricade? And finally can these two forms of the discourse (criticism and appeal) be combined and how productive is that combination in terms of each of the dual purposes of the text.

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Anna Shahnazaryan is an activist, involved in feminist and environmental groups, has participated in various civic initiatives and actions, emphasizes the importance of consistent and uncompromising fight against injustice.

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The public program of the project “(Im)potences: Power against Love” has double aim. On the one hand it proposes to analyse the material that lies on the basis of the project, on the other hand - to discuss the problems that emerge from the content layers of the project.

The subject of the project is accordingly the sit-in on the Baghramyan avenue, the media used by the participants during the sit-in, the performative practices adopted from other social revolts (flashmob, mic check, etc.), the photo and video images (showing the gestures and movements) produced, the pronounced words (calls, appeals, foul language), the voiced and written criticism about them. The project in its turn, on the one hand with aestheticization of the feelings of love, solidarity, wistfulness and regret, and on the other hand with ethicalization of the conceptual perceptions of the author of the project about the role of art and the artist, gives an opportunity to discuss the problem of the connection between art and politics in general. For the planned four meetings prominent Armenian media theoreticians, literary critics, cultural critics, art theorist and art critics will be invited who will discuss and will comment on the issues of interest to the art-loving and politically active public.