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The Voice of Queer Feminist Activists and Scholars in Conjunction with 
Feminist Art from Armenia

Participants:

Narine Arakelian
Gayane Ayvazyan
Ruzanna Grigoryan
Lousine Navasartian
Tamar Shirinian
Lusine Talalyan
Anna Zhamakochyan

Curator: Susanna Gyulamiryan

The project "About Revolution and Power" is dedicated to all the women 
who have been participants, initiators and organizers of political and 
civil protest, struggles and resistance in Armenia for more than two 
decades, the ones who have shaped and directed women's movements, 
initiated queer feminist discourses and defined the developmental paths 
of the critical thinking in the country, where there is still no public 
recognition of women's achievements. What women do and contribute to the 
country's welfare is buried under patriarchal ideology and masculine 
hegemony, based on the idea of male supremacy.

The important feature of the project articulates Armenian female 
artists' activism that moves in stride with political, civil, social and 
feminist movements. Meanwhile, political and feminist activism in turn 
borrows methods from artistic practices and applies them in its 
multimedia arsenal of performance, action art, manifests, graffiti, and 
so on.

Thе impulse towards politicization paved the way for highly motivated 
female artists, who gained strength and momentum to break out of the 
limited spaces designated to the field of art, and the ideas of 
autonomy, political commitment, and enthusiasm for appropriating streets 
and public spaces were promoted and nurtured. A fresh direction lies in 
the cooperation of the political and the aesthetic, female artists and 
feminist activists who, together, do not hesitate to act and campaign 
against injustice and inequality in the country and who develop concepts 
and actions to encourage political and social reforms in Armenia.

One part of the project presents the video series entitled "Dialogues 
about Revolution and Power," which consists of critical reflections and 
artistic manifestations by female experts, scholars, and queer feminist 
activists from Armenia – *Gayane Ayvazyan*, *Ruzanna Grigoryan*, *Anna 
Nikoghosyan* and *Anna Zhamakochyan* – on the topic of the 2018 Armenian 
revolution, which, according to one of the participants, was rather a 
regime change than a revolution.

In pair with the video documentation of artist *Narine Arakelian's* 
reenactment of the notorious women's civil disobedience action "Cast 
Iron Pots and Pans" in the public spaces of Venice, engaging over 50 
women volunteers, the above mentioned "Dialogues" make up the most 
important part of the Armenian Pavilion of the 58th International Art 
Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2019).


The entire project of the pavilion curated by Susanna Gyulamiryan is an 
artistic and analytical representation of the Armenian revolution of 
2018. It brings together artists, scholars, and activists to reproduce 
the revolutionary events and reflect on them.
The dynamics of the development of women's and feminist movements 
starting from the early Soviet period until the post-Soviet 1990s, 
reviewing the role of these movements in the context of their 
"negotiations" with the authorities and state institutions is presented 
by Tamar Shirinian – scholar and specialist on Women's and Gender Studies.

Artist *Lusine Talalyan* presents her feminist call that "woman is 
owner-less," as well as the arm-less image of monumental statue of 
Mother Armenia during a shame-less orgasm. (The statue of Mother Armenia 
in Yerevan is an image of a masculine woman with a sword in her arms. 
This kind of patri-archaic presentation through certain formal and 
stylistic attributes is a symbol of power, and some researchers call 
this kind of creature "matri-archaic").

The two graphic works by *Lusine Navasardyan* are about the consequences 
and "wounds" of the ideological and physical struggle of the Armenian 
civil activists.