Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

From all of us here at the Abovyan Group, merry Christmas and happy holidays! It should be noted that Armenian Christmas is typically celebrated on January 6, though New Year’s is generally a bigger deal in Armenia, Georgia, Russia, and much of the former USSR.  An annual viewing of the 1976 Soviet comedy film Ирония…

A Lost Soviet Armenian Film

During Soviet times, the cinema industries of Georgia and Armenia proved to be veritable powerhouses not only within the USSR but internationally as well.  Great filmmakers such as Tengiz Abuladze, Sergei Parajanov, Artavazd Peleshyan, and Otar Iosseliani and performers like Sofiko Chiaureli and Frunzik Mkrtchyan effectively put the Caucasus on the map as a major…

Political Posters Continued

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University, founded in 1959 on Herbert Hoover’s ideas on American government and enterprise, is a remarkable resource for giddy scholars everywhere. Besides enabling research in the social sciences, the Institution also has a rich archive, the gem of which (to me!) is a collection of more than one hundred thousand…

The Mother of All Statues

“Heavy Metal Motherland.” Historian Nina Tumarkin coined this term in The Living and the Dead to describe the woman-as-nation statues that rose across Soviet republics during and after World War II. Best known and often recalled are Kiev’s “Mother Motherland” (1981) and Volgograd’s “Motherland Calls” (1967), two gargantuan figures crowning memorial centers to the Great…

The Serious Business of Being Funny in Armenia: An Interview with Sergey Sargsyan

“Making people laugh, even if it’s just a little, is a psychological need for comedians. I seek to satisfy this need.” When speaking about civil society, it is important to mention the people who help forge this environment in Armenia today.  One such individual is Sergey Sargsyan, co-host of the ArmComedy Project (the Armenian version of…

Soviet Armenian Political Posters

Within the past year, I have come across several Soviet Armenian political posters online.  They seem unique and possess a sort of style all their own, reflecting the distinct culture and atmosphere of Armenia and the region in agitprop art.  These are fascinating pieces of history that shed light on life inside the Soviet Armenian…