Araxie Cass

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

Azad Sparks: Decolonizing Armenian Dance with Natalie Kamajian

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 silence on marginalized topics, and build alternative communities. Natalie Kamajian is […]

02 August 2022 | Araxie Cass

Art After the War: A Conversation with Lena Halteh

I first interviewed Lena Halteh during the 2020 Artsakh War, when we were both focused on selling our creative work to fundraise for immediate aid on the ground, and creating urgent content to raise awareness, and advocate for people in Artsakh.  Looking back at our conversation, I can feel the distress we shared, as well […]

14 March 2022 | Araxie Cass

Champion Communities: How Football Created International Solidarity for Artsakh

As the Artsakh War of 2020 raged, Busani Sibindi read the updates in his hometown of Bulawayo, in the Matabeleland region of Zimbabwe. Although his own region was suffering intensely under the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and their constant experience of government repression, he immediately felt for the situation of the people in Artsakh.  […]

05 August 2021 | Araxie Cass

A Free Palestine Means a Borderless SWANA Region: Interview with Nancy Bartekian

When I first met Nancy Bartekian, the idea for her anti-colonial, transnational collective SWANA Chicago was in its infancy. In the wake of the 2020 Artsakh War, she had noticed a lack of solidarity between Armenians and other groups in the SWANA (SouthWest Asia and North Afrika) region. Building on her work as a Palestinian-Armenian […]

01 July 2021 | Araxie Cass

Mary Basmadjian on Socially Conscious Comedy, the Origins of Vartoush, and Not Feeling Armenian Enough

With a growing following of over 50k on Instagram, Mary Basmadjian gained notoriety as a comedian by using her platform to effortlessly combine humor and activism. Her goal: making people laugh while simultaneously encouraging them to reflect on their own ideas and personal biases.

07 May 2021 | Araxie Cass