Between Armenia’s Past and Future

Students are walking up and down – we are close to Yerevan State University. We want to visit the Public Radio of Armenia. It is an appointment of the debate group. The group met Lilit Tumanyan, the deputy executive director of the radio. She is in this position for three years now. She talked about the history of the radio and gave insights into what the challenges of a public radio are today. She said that the task of the radio is to be a “bridge between government and the civil society”. At the same time they have to be as objective as possible because they are a public radio. But as Tumanyan says, the political parties are satisfied with the Public Radio of Armenia. She also explained how their international media cooperation works. There are also Armenians of the diaspora listening to the public radio.
After the discussion the audiovisual group interviewed Tumayan about the freedom of press, objectiveness and the special situation of media in Armenia. The group wants to interview different journalists and people working in media to make a video about the situation of media in Armenia and how free and objective they are. After the meetings in the radio the group returned to the hotel and had lunch.

Then all participants went to Tsitsernakaberd (the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex). The construction of the monument was finished in 1966, during Soviet times. The complex consists of a stele which symbolizes the national rebirth of Armenians and twelve slabs representing the twelve lost provinces in present-day Turkey. In the center of the circle there is an eternal flame dedicated to the 1.5 million Armenian genocide victims. At the Genocide Museum Mkrtich Tonoyan, one of the project‘s organizers, gave the participants some information about the complex and about the genocide.

The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute opened its doors in 1995 on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the genocide. The museum exhibition halls occupy a space just over 1000 square meters. They are split up into three indoor halls and one outdoor gallery. The main hall exhibits photographs and demographic tables with information about the Armenian settlements and populations in Ottoman Turkey. The content also portrays information on the number of Armenian churches and schools which were functioning in the region at that time. There is also information about how the Ottoman Empire has organized the genocide and about the main organizers of these massacres. After this visit the participants had a walk to talk about their impressions and digest what they have seen.

The next station of the group was TUMO Center for Creative Technologies. It is located in one of Yerevan’s largest green areas, Tumanyan Park, which is maintained and managed by TUMO. The center is a new kind of educational experience at the intersection of technology and design. At TUMO center teens learn everything conected to art, design and modern technologies. The representative of TUMO intruduced the center and gave answers to the questions of participants.

After these visits and interesting meetings the group went to have a dinner in an armenian tavern. Participants tasted armenian dishes, Khash, Qabab etc. The participants also danced armenian dances and had fun with armenian visitors of the tavern.

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