In 1992, upon the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), Azerbaijan’s response was an attack. At the end of the war, in 1994 Nagorno-Karabakh was consolidated as a “de facto” republic. However, it is not yet recognized by the international community. Azerbaijan claims what it considers its territory and Armenia claims its freedom and independence.
According to the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States of America there is an agreement between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United States based on equality, mutual respect and the history of successful cooperation in energy security, peacekeeping operations, counter-terrorism and other areas.
In 2021, the two sides signed around eighty documents establishing the regulatory-legal basis adequate for this cooperation.
So the United States of America, which takes tax money from Armenian communities, which side are they on?
Even Russia guaranteed peace between the two sides. In fact, in relation to the 2020 attacks, it sent peacekeepers to the border but we know that peacekeepers are not always there and that last September Armenia lost more ground to Azerbaijan.
In 2020, as the world grappled with the covid-19 pandemic, Azerbaijan launched a powerful attack on the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
After 44 terrible days of violence and destruction, the war seemed officially over. In reality, despite diplomatic attempts by other countries to make peace, further clashes still occurred in November 2021 and September 2022, with casualties reported on both sides.
Armenia suffers and it suffers the 4000 young people who fell in 2020.
The continuous existential threat that the Armenian communities suffer is more than evident but all around is silence. There is silence and indifference.
How long will this genocide last?
It began in the late 1800s and still continues in a world that defines itself as civilized but still made up of wars, arms business, and aid business.
While men kill people by making war, women give birth by creating art to spread consciousness and awareness.
In Los Angeles, She Loves Collective, a group of women artists founded in 2017, explores the possibility of social change through art. To this evil they respond with love and beauty.
She Loves Collective created an installation that aims to regenerate the senses and to inspire renewal, even in the worst moments. It is entitled Shelter and it is an installation that invites reflection, to memory and healing. There is a strong need to heal wounds to the heart and those inflicted on Armenian cultural heritage, on the Armenian community.
The Glendale Arts and Culture Commission, through funding from the Urban Art Fund, with support from the Glendale Library, Arts and Culture, have sponsored the Shelter exhibit inaugurated on December 3rd , running through January 29th , 2023 and which is freely open to the public.
The exhibition is characterized by a path of 4 moments that are divided into 4 rooms: Shelter, Bunker, Revive and Ritual.
The first phase is Shelter. The names of the soldiers who died during the 44 days of war in 2020 hang from above like angels. There are 4,000 of them and they are covered by a shelter of cold and dark materials, those of war. Materials that represent iron and fire and which contrast with those exhibited in the last room, the meditative one of Healing.
Passing under the “Shelter” and feeling overwhelmed by this myriad of names of young people who had a face, a soul, and plans for the future, is painful. Certainly this remembrance is worth much more than a medal of valor because it is imbued with a strong awareness and profound respect.
Bunker is the second phase and it is a dark room in which a very suggestive video is broadcast. The result of infrared shooting, made with military drones, which makes you feel the war on you, which makes your skin burn and which makes you reflect on the absurdities of men who have ceased to be human.
Revive, as the third phase is a sort of resurrection. It shows the light and life of the Armenian community. The cultural heritage and the beauty of its lands, rich in greenery and good materials. Revive is a room featuring a series of photographs from which the authenticity of the people emerges. Armenians’ daily life, their dignity in continuing to look ahead following their own traditions, despite everything.
Ritual (toward Healing) is the fourth room and the cathartic moment of the entire exhibition.
This installation is characterized by concentric circles of organic materials that represent life. This is the last phase aimed at having one’s traumas processed in a constructive way.
It is the final phase but perhaps the main concept from which the whole exhibition is born, that is that of
creating a safe space for shared experience by planting seeds with the intention that they spread within the community through healing.
More than an exhibition, Shelter, by She Loves Collective, is an experience, a path to take in order to understand suffering and heal from it. A sequence of moments made to reach the awareness of being able to recover.
It is not a legitimation of war but a positive reaction to this human, all too human massacre!
Shelter an exhibition by She Loves Collective
is a temporary installation in remembrance of the 44-day Artsakh War of 2020
inspiring hope and healing.
It features works by
Ani Nina Oganyan
Aleen Maharid Khachatourian
The exhibition is open to public
Wednesday to Friday from 6PM to 9PM and Saturday and Sunday from 12PM to 9PM.
250 N. Orange St. Glendale, CA. 91203.