Azad Sparks: The Fight for Transgender Rights in Armenia with Lilit Martirosyan

CW: This article includes descriptions of anti-LGBTQ+ violence and hate speech.  This article is part of Azad Sparks: Critical Conversations for the Armenian Community. Azad Sparks is an interview series dedicated to starting transnational conversations on the topics that aren’t often talked about in prevailing Armenian discourse. Here we ask the difficult questions, break the […]

01 February 2023 | Araxie Cass

No Means No: Yallah, Bye

Consent has been the center of a lot of discussion lately, both within the Armenian community and outside of it. Though legal definitions of sexual consent vary from country to country, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “giv[ing] assent or approval.”

Simple enough, right? Not exactly.

10 January 2023 | Alexa Gris

Azad Sparks: Inclusive Armenian Organizing with Carene Mekertichyan

Carene Mekertichyan is an artist, organizer, educator in Los Angeles. She organizes people for intersectional justice in various arts spaces and online through her platform on Instagram. She is one of the co-founders of Yerazad coalition, an action coalition dedicated to Armenian liberation and building transnational solidarity. Inspired by Carene’s efforts to build inclusivity in the Armenian community, I sat down with her to learn more about her activism, organizing work, and Armenian experience.

26 October 2022 | Araxie Cass

Passive Language is Dangerous. Azerbaijan’s Attacks Against Armenia Show Why.

Victoria Gevorgyan was the first victim of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War. She was nine years old. Reading her name on the list of civilian casualties was anesthetizing. Victoria should be alive, playing freely in her yard with her mother and younger brother. She should have the right to grow up, as any child should. She […]

27 September 2022 | Ella Chakarian

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Hummus Sexuality is Not Tabbouleh: Love, Laughter, and Drag with Vera Hannush

Speaking with SWANA drag king Vera Hannush is an event filled with lots of laughter, playful absurdity, and enough love to make you forget for a few hilarious moments about all the difficulties that queer SWANA folks face. And then there are the performances…  Kristin Anahit Cass: I loved the photos and videos from the […]

07 September 2022 | Kristin Anahit Cass

The Colliding Identities and Alternate Worlds of Stephany Sanossian

Walking into the 2022 Armenia Art Fair, I could see that each corner, each artist, and each work of art served a specific purpose and added a personalized touch to the 3-day-event.  Taking place for the third time, the Armenia Art Fair is a social affair that brings together contemporary artists from Armenia and around […]

19 August 2022 | Hena Aposhian

There’s Nothing More Powerful than Living your Authentic Truth: Interview with Anoush Ellah

Have you experienced a drag performance where the artists are wearing traditional taraz or tatreez costumes? As many people of different SWANA (South West Asia and North Africa or Middle Eastern) backgrounds can attest, our communities aren’t always very accepting of queer folks. In a world where it feels difficult to hold all our identities […]

10 August 2022 | Kristin Anahit Cass