Armenia. At the beginning of the year, the political opposition launched a protest campaign against the government demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and the release of imprisoned activists. In March and April, thousands of people in the capital Yerevan demonstrated in the square that was the site of mass demonstrations in 2008, when several people were killed when police opened fire. The square had then been closed to protesters for three years. Now the riot police withdrew and let the protests go on. Visit ABBREVIATIONFINDER for the acronym of ARM that stands for the country of Armenia.
The Sarkisian government chose to partially meet the opposition by releasing several political prisoners in May, including leading opposition editor Nikol Pasjinian. He had been sentenced to several years in prison accused of participating in and organizing the mass protests after the 2008 presidential election.
According to Countryaah official site, Prime Minister Sarkisian turned interest from domestic policy issues when he declared in June that Armenia was prepared to establish diplomatic relations with the arch-enemy Turkey without conditions. Closed borders are nonsense in the 21st century, Sarkisian explained. Armenia and Turkey signed an agreement in 2009 to establish normal relations and open the border, but Turkey has since stipulated that Armenia first resolve its conflict with Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. At the same time, the Sarkisian declared that Armenia was ready to go to war again (as in the early 1990s) if Azerbaijan were to try to take the enclave by force.
In July, human rights groups wrote an open letter to the Armenian government demanding vigorous measures against the emigration from Armenia, which it described as a national disaster. According to the political opposition, almost 100,000 people emigrate every year to find work abroad, most of them going to the Russian Federation and the construction industry there. This means that it is almost exclusively men who emigrate and that women must bear a growing responsibility in Armenian society. The government denies that emigration would be so great, but Armenia’s population has decreased from about 4 million at independence from the Soviet Union to about 3 million today.
At the beginning of the year, archaeologists announced that they had found what was considered to be the world’s oldest wine press, estimated at 6,000 years. The discovery was made in a cave in the mountains of southeastern Armenia, and the grape seeds found on the site came from the same type of grapes still used in wine production in the area.
Apart from a rich production of funerary stelae (7th-16th century) of various types, the sculpture is essentially conceived for an architectural function. Zoomorphic, phytomorphic or aniconic motifs, common to the figurative repertoire of the other cultural areas of the Eastern Christian world, biblical or donation scenes, decorate the exterior of the buildings.
The testimonies of monumental painting (whose rarity can also be ascribed to the doctrines of the Armenian Church) are mainly from the late period and linked to Orthodox and Georgian-influenced environments. The production of illuminated manuscripts, on the other hand, is large and original, almost always bearing the date and name of the calligrapher and illuminator, largely preserved in the Matenadaran (“library”) of Yerevan and in the library of San Lazzaro in Venice. Characterized by monumentality, simplification, taste for decoration, the first phase of the Armenian miniature (9th-10th century) shows a strong Syriac influence. Only in the 11th century. the Byzantine influence begins, determining only in the kingdom of Cilicia. Significant are in the 12th century. the works of Gregory and Constantine and in the 13th those of T. Roslin and his school. In the general decline of the artistic activities of the sec. 14 ° -18 °, alongside the Byzantine style, the decidedly oriental trend remains, with profitable exchanges now with Islamic art, now with more ancient Byzantine models.
In the sec. 19th and 20th century contacts with Western European art became important, especially in the introduction of genres such as portrait and landscape. Active masters in Armenia after the Russian revolution, such as MS Sarjan and E. Kocar, painter and sculptor, were fundamental for subsequent generations of artists, such as S. Muradjan or R. Abovjan. After 1991 the search for national and individual identity is found with particular importance in the paintings of Armenia Grigorian, in the installations and videos of S. Balassanian, resident in New York and founder of the Armenian Center for Experimental Art in Yerevan, of Armenia Egoyan, Armenia Sarkissian, N. Avetissian.