It has been over a year since the launch of our new AAN website. The landscape that is the Arts Scene for Armenians has continued in its evolution and growth. We have seen more artists emerge around the world and bold new ideas move forward with vigor. More interest in the arts across Armenian media and community organizations is encouraging that a future which lends opportunity to independent, creative, even experimental artists is inevitable.
A surge of artistic activity among Armenians also seems to be changing the game and tilting the scales of power and decision-making in favor of the artist’s best interests. Established artists, even those once entrepreneurial are faced with new challenges. Where a few individuals had the means to exploit artists of limited access is becoming a thing of the past. Artists are empowered and better informed, on their way, I think, to even more self-sufficiency and less dependence on the ‘big brothers’ of the internal industry.
Over the years, (and perhaps always) we have become complacent with a culture of business that is counterproductive and succeeds only those who are most destructive and not always the most talented artistically. Intimidation tactics and unethical conduct have dominated the scene in all its aspects. As artists speak-up and pro-actively cause change the current status-quo will become unacceptable.
Also contributing to the shift is an overall movement toward a new perspective of what it means to be Armenian and an artist. As boundaries of cultural identity dissipate, however slowly, new collaborations are free to occur. The outcome of a more united Armenian identity is movement in a positive direction for all, and we all have the potential to perpetuate it. In terms of Armenian Artists Network’s contribution, our most active networks are updated and listed HERE.
I do want to share some information to those using social networking sites. It is common knowledge to be cautious of who we give information to online and who we accept as ‘friends’. Our network, myself and several other artists included, have fallen victim to fake or fraudulent profiles. Beware of ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ as you interact with individuals. The attackers have disguised with false identities, or use other’s identities as friendly characters. Mostly directed by one single voice impersonating several very different personalities (even those of other website administrators) to intimidate and negatively influence and cause distress to just about anyone.
In the past few months I temporarily put on hold our Featured Artists and Exclusive Interviews activity in order to protect our artists from such harassment. The assaults did not however stop with on-line ‘stalking’ or insults; my personal boundaries were crosses long ago, including interference with my family and personal life. Thanks to support from friends, influential voices, and non-arts organizations the matter is being handled and will be brought to an end.
The art itself is the ultimate victim in such situations however, and the damage caused to the culture that gives way to a unique voice Armenian artists contribute to the world is put at risk. It is our responsibility to put an end to such destructive behavior and hold individuals we have allowed to carry on this way responsible for their actions.
That said, AAN will continue to bring artists and arts professionals from around the world together. I am excited to see what is created by talented Armenians this year and the years to come. There is always something new brewing, new ideas in the work at AAN. Stay in touch with us; connect with our groups and networks. Contact AAN at email@example.com for more information.
Thank you always for you support!