Monument to the Autonomous Republic of Artsakh
A Collaboration with Kamee Abrahamian, Nancy Baker Cahill, and Nelli Sargsyan
About the Project
Monument to the Autonomous Republic of Artsakh is an augmented reality (AR) monument situated in Glendale, CA, the site of one of the largest diasporic Armenian communities in the world. The monument is a collaboration between Kamee Abrahamian, Nancy Baker Cahill, Mashinka Firunts Hakopian, and Nelli Sargsyan. It’s geolocated at the intersection of Artsakh Avenue and East Broadway, and is viewable through Baker Cahill’s AR app, 4th Wall.
The monument is dedicated to the Indigenous Armenian struggle for self-determination in Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh and calls for the recognition of Artsakh’s independence amid the seizure of Armenians’ ancestral lands. On October 23rd, the nonpartisan agency Genocide Watch classified the situation in Artsakh as a stage 9 state of emergency amid Azerbaijan’s campaign of ethnic cleansing in the region. The monument aims to bring visibility to this crisis, and to affirm the survival and endurance of Artsakh and its peoples’ ongoing efforts toward self-governance.
The monument features visuals by Abrahamian drawn from their “Recognize Artsakh Now” poster campaign, inspired by Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov’s “Color of Pomegranates.” It also features a soundscape by Sargsyan, and links to a video essay created by Abrahamian and Hakopian based on the latter’s text in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
The monument launched on Sunday, November 15th. A rally was held in conjunction with the launch, with speakers including Hakopian, Sophia Armen (Writer), Ara Oshagan (artist and curator at ReflectSpace), Lousine Shamamian (Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society), Hayk Makhmuryan and Niko Shahbazian (Glendale Tenants’ Union), Carene Rose Mekertichyan (Actress, Writer, and Educator), and Ardy Kassakhian (Glendale City Council).