Saturday, 22 September

Nazani: Young Woman Packs Her Bags to Teach Art to Kids in Remote Artsakh Town of Mijnavan



27 year-old Herkinaz Avetisyan, a second year student at Yerevan’s Art Institute, recently made a life-changing decision.

She decided to interrupt her studies and move to Mijnavan, a town in the extreme southwest of Artsakh on the banks of the Arax River.

The reason was simple. Herkinaz wanted to teach fine arts to the pupils at the local branch of the Berdzor Art School.

 The young woman made her decision to move in February, after meeting with the director of the school. Nazani, as she’s called by the locals, toured the area, liked what she saw, and decided to stay.

“Now, all the war ruins are covered with greenery. In February, when I first visited, they stood out in stark contrast. The impression they left was terrible. I had visited the museum in Stepanakert and saw the photos of the Armenians who gave their lives. Artsakh needs many things. I simply decided to do my share,” Nazani relates.

The young woman comes from the town of Ashtarak in Armenia. Her decision to move and live by herself in Artsakh didn’t go down well in her family of traditionalists. Her father was so upset that he didn’t speak to her for a long time. Her mother, naturally concerned about Nazani moving to a place where she knew no one, tried to talk her out of it. But their efforts were to no avail.

The authorities in Artsakh are attempting to resettle Minjnavan with Armenians. Nazani thus contacted Robert Matevosyan, who heads the government’s resettlement program for the Kashatagh administrative province. She didn’t receive much in the way of assistance.

“He said he had no transportation or fuel. So he asked the director of the arts school to help. The director came and picked me up,” says Nazani, adding that the local authorities focus more on families than individuals.

She eventually took up residence in an unoccupied house in Mijnavan. The school gave her a wood stove and some firewood to get through the winter.

Even though Nazani hadn’t graduated from the State Academy of Fine Arts, she had completed her studies at the Terlemezian Fine Arts School and was confident that she possessed the skills and knowledge to teach the children of the resettled families in Mijnavan.

The walls of one room in the unfinished school are now decorated by the paintings and drawings of her 17 pupils.

She receives a salary of 66,000 AMD (US 160). Nazani says she barely gets by and that food is more expensive in Kashatagh than Yerevan.

The owner of the house where she now lives recently sold the place. The Art School wants to provide Nazani with a place of her own. A benefactor has promised to donate 1 million AMD for a house now on the market in Mijnavan for 1.3 million. All that remains is to somehow come up with the remaining 300,000. If it comes through, Nazani will have a new home.

The young woman has been teaching in Mijnavan for the past seven months and says her desire to stay grows stronger by the day. And she’s started to pick up the painter’s brush once again.

“The natural beauty of the place gets by creative juices flowing. It’s been quite a while since I’ve painted,” Nazani says.

For the moment, Nazani is focused on her work and hardly thinks about her personal life. She and the director of the art school have been exploring ways to combine her artistic work and teaching.

“If I had to decide between teaching and working, I’d remain and continue with my artistic work, says Nazani.


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    Comments (17)
    1. facts21:57 - 19 August, 2013
    This is stupid when people moving to Karabakh have to pay for a plot of land or ruins ! Since Karabakh has enough land to gift it to the people who are willing to move and stay there , with restriction that when they leave they should not be allowed to sell the same gifted land and get money for it!
    2. karen22:15 - 19 August, 2013
    մարդու այս տեսակն է պահում հայրենի հողը:
    3. Vazgen14:31 - 20 August, 2013
    Վերաբնակեցման ծրագիր կոչվածը կատարյալ հիմարություն է, լրագրողներ ջան խորհուրդ եմ տալիս հետաքննություն անցկացնել, բավականին կարդացվող հոդվածներ կգրեք: Վերջերս ԼՂՀ փոխվարչապետը հայտարարեց, բա թե եկեք բնակվեք կառավարությունը ամեն ինչ կանի միայն եկեք... իրականում կառավարությունը ոչ մի բան էլ չի անում, բացի թոզ փչելուց: Ասումա վառելիք չունեմ, միջոցներ չունեմ, եթե կարաս քո միջոցներով տար... Այ քեզ բան բա ուրա պետական ծրագիրը, հետո ինչ, որ մենակ աղջիկա, ինչի վաղը չի ամուսնանալու, Մի խոսքով խորհուրդ եմ տալիս որքան հեռու մնալ վերաբնակեցման ծրագրից, այնքան լավ: Հայրենասիրությունը այն չի, որ մարդ գնա ու 4 հատ քանդած պատ տան ասեն տուն կառուցի ապրի, այ քեզ բան, դե էտա Երևանի կամ մեկ այլ խոշոր քաղաքում տուն կսարքեմ:
    4. Վարազ Սյունի (Ամստերդամ)18:45 - 21 August, 2013
    Կովսականի,Միջնավանի և Արաքսի ափի այդ հողերը շատ բերրի են,իսկ կլիման՝ բարերար: Այս ազատագրված դաշտավայրը ապագայում շատ հավանաբար դառնալու է Հայաստանի կենտրոնը կամ կենտրոն:........................................................................Քաշաթաղի շրջանի վերաբնակեցման վարչության պետ Ռոբերտ Մաթևոսյանին կցանկանայի հետևյալ հարցը տալ. իսկ ոչ-ՀՀ քաղաքացի դրսի-/սփյուռքահայերը իրավունք ունե՞ ն ՀՈՂ(կամ բնակարան) գնելու ազատագրված տարածքներում/Քաշաթաղում. եթե այո, ի՞ նչ պայմանով/օրենքով:
    5. Մարգարիտա Շարիմանյան22:11 - 21 August, 2013
    Հայրենասեր աղջիկ ու լավ մարդ, ով իր սերն ու ուժը նվիրում է երեխաներին: Ուրախ եմ, որ ծանոթացանք, շբվեցինք և ընկերացանք: Քեզ միայն համբերություն: :)))
    6. Լիանա Բադալյան01:20 - 22 August, 2013
    նկարիչն էսպիսին կլինի!!! հիշում եմ՝ ոնց էր ոգևորված պատմում, թե ինչ հրաշք է Արցախի բնությունը, ինչից ոգեշնչված՝ նորից սկսել է ստեղծագործել')
    7. Karen21:51 - 22 August, 2013
    Apres Nazani jan, axjik jan ! hazar txamardu gorc es anum ! ASTVAC KEZ PAHAPAN ! SHNORHKD EL ANSPAR ! shat mets gorts es anum ! amot mez txamardkancs .....
    8. Mahmouzian09:01 - 23 August, 2013
    Nazani .abris. for my part let me see if i can help you with your house gi ve me a telephone number and i will call you.Mihran
    9. Zaruhi Muradyan11:17 - 23 August, 2013
    Բարև հարգելի Միհրան: Dear Mr. Mahmouzian, My name is Zaruhi Muradyan. I am the representative of Nazeni in the prosess of purchasing the house in Mijnavan, Artsakh. My phone number is (+37493) 42 17 02, or you can find me on facebook under name Zaruhi Muradyan. Pleas contact with me and we will discuss everything privately. Thank you for respond. Best regards, Zaruhi.
    10. ARPINE22:36 - 23 August, 2013
    ES HPARTANUM EM QO KOROVOV...ES INQS EM TESEL NPATAKASLACUTYUN@ U KAMQI UJ@,,,,,,CANKUTYUN@ VOREVE BANOV OGNELU YURAQANCHYURIN,AYN DEPQUM ERB SHAT SHATER@ VAXENUM EIN ANGAM MEK OR APREL ENTEX;;;;; HPART EM VOR DER KAN AYSPISIQ....
    11. Anonymous09:58 - 24 August, 2013
    I will be travelling to Artsakh next week (from US) and will be driving to Mijnavan - hope to meet Nazani, visit the art school and check out the needs. Is it possible for hetq or Kristine Aghalaryan to email me soon.
    12. Hetq10:32 - 24 August, 2013
    @Anonymous, what would this be in regards to?
    13. mahmouzian12:08 - 24 August, 2013
    please when you are ready give me all information about village location .number of students population etc we will start from there i will someone to look at itand get a feed back good luck to you regards Mihran.
    14. GB06:58 - 26 August, 2013
    Artsakh.... the heart of Armenian art and beauty!!
    15. Mahmouzian01:01 - 27 August, 2013
    hello Zarouhi send me info about the house the tebroz etc etc we will start from there.thank you.i did try to get in touch with herkinaz but was not succefull i will try again.
    16. Zaruhi Muradyan21:34 - 29 August, 2013
    Mr. Mahmouzian I have been trying to call you, but I didn't succeed. would you pleas send me your email address or write me. My email is zaruhi.muradyan@gmail.com
    17. mahmouzian02:07 - 4 September, 2013
    zaruhi here is my e mailaddres. mahmouzian @ msn.com hope to hear from you .like i said i need information from your part .thank you .
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