Second Hamazkayin Cultural Retreat to be held in Boston Oct. 28-29

BELMONT, Mass.—The Hamazkayin Eastern Regional Executive announces the second installment of the Hamazkayin Cultural Retreat, to be held in Boston from Oct. 28-29, following the success of the first retreat in 2022.

The gathering will feature talks and workshops by Ara Dinkjian, Hrair Hawk and Dr. Arpi Movsesian, as well as a round-table discussion with young professionals on the situation in Artsakh and Armenia following Baku’s ethnic cleansing campaign.

The program will be held at the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building. The organizers will provide accommodations for out-of-town participants (two nights: Oct. 27 and Oct. 28).

The gathering provides an environment where university students and young professionals can openly discuss, critique and create in the Armenian language; where Armenian culture and identity are viewed as dynamic; and where top-down approaches give way to horizontal, creative endeavors. 

The retreat program was launched in response to a growing demand among university students and young professionals for Armenian-language driven outlets fostering creativity and professional development.

University students and young professionals can apply here. The application deadline is Oct. 21. Participants are expected to have at least a basic understanding of spoken Armenian (Eastern or Western). Two of the three lectures will be held in Armenian. 

The program is made possible through a grant from the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. 

The vision of the program was developed in 2019 through focus groups held at Columbia University and discussions with scholars and experts. Dr. Khatchig Mouradian, who serves as program director, led the process. 

Lectures and workshops

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Ara Dinkjian will speak about “Early Recordings of Armenian Classics.” Dinkjian was born in New Jersey, U.S. in 1958. He has been an organist for the Armenian Apostolic Church for fifty years. Ara graduated Hartt College of Music, earning the country’s first and only special degree in the oud. He is considered one of the finest oud players in the world, with a very personal style, emphasizing a uniquely beautiful tone. His groundbreaking and highly influential group NIGHT ARK recorded four CDs for RCA/BMG and PolyGram/Universal. He has performed in 24 countries throughout the world. His compositions have appeared in movie and television soundtracks and have been recorded by renowned musicians and singers in 16 different languages. Dinkjian’s composition “Homecoming” (“Dinata, Dinata”) was performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics. In 2013 at the Nevruz Festival in Dikranagerd (Diyarbekir), over one million people sang his song “Picture” (“Ağladıkça”) to welcome peace after years of conflict in the region. He has recorded six solo CDs, as well as three CDs with his current group, THE SECRET TRIO. Dinkjian’s collection of over 6,000 Armenian and Turkish 78rpm records is one of the largest archives of this material in the world. Ara and his father Onnik, the iconic Armenian folk and liturgical singer, are the subject of a documentary film titled Garod. The Ara Dinkjian Songbook was just published by Aras Publishing, which was founded by Hrant Dink.

Hrair Hawk Khatcherian

Hrair Hawk Khatcherian will give a talk titled “Artsakh: The Photographer’s Eye,” followed by a photography workshop. Hawk was born in Lebanon in 1961. In 1984, he moved to Canada, where he worked as a freelance photojournalist. In 1985, he started working for the Gamma press agency in Paris. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1993 and survived. Ever since that crucial year, Hawk has lived for and by Armenia, Artsakh and all the fundamental references, values and benchmarks of the Armenian world. He abandoned all commercial aspects of his profession, closed his prosperous photo studio and traveled to more than 50 countries to capture Armenian churches and manuscripts with his camera. His photographs have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, books and publications. Hawks latest (16th) published work is Artsakh: The Photographer’s Eye! (2021).

Dr. Arpi Movsesian

Dr. Arpi Movsesian will run a workshop titled, “From Periphery to Center: The Armenian Literary Word Between Empires.” Dr. Movsesian is a scholar of comparative literature whose research focuses on literary history and performance in the English, Russian and Armenian contexts. As an assistant professor of Russian at the University of Notre Dame, Movsesian examines the political and radical movements in the Russian Empire during the 19th century and how these movements became blueprints for revolutionary activity and atrocities in the 20th century. Movsesian has book and article publications on Shakespeare, Dostoevsky and other writers, as well as on Soviet Armenian literature, and is currently examining the directionality between the center and the periphery in colonial and postcolonial contexts in the South Caucasus. Movsesian’s second book project is entitled, Bloodied Ballads, Living Empires: Transculturality in Armenian Lyrical Verse

Speakers for the Artsakh round table will be finalized at a later date.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

1 Comment

  1. A Centennial Symposium on the late deceased writer Vahe Oshagan (1922-2000) would be justice to his forgotten legacy. His two sons at Wayne State University in Michigan could certainly organize and conduct such a celebration of the life and legacy of a humane man of letters with whom I enjoyed a close intellectual friendship through a traditional epistolary correspondence during the last ten years of his life. -Harold Kulungian, Hadley, MA kulungianharold@gmail.com

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