Impressions from “Triangle” Community Art Festival in Gyumri
“I wish there will be more trash bins in the 58th district…” wrote one of the participants of the “Triangle” Community Art festival on the Wish Tree.
On the 17th of November the Key Dialogue Workers of Gyumri implemented the «Yerankyuni» (Triangle) Community Art Festival which consisted of three activities each addressing different problems the inhabitants of Gyumri are facing nowadays.
It was an ordinary calm autumn Sunday. As usual the Central Square was “greeting” happy people and cars celebrating one more union of two young people and a birth of a new family.
On that Sunday the Central Square was crowded more than usual and the guests seemed to be not exactly happy. On that day over 1000 people from the neighbourhood gathered in the city centre to celebrate… the Crying Wedding!
The Crying Wedding was the first community art event within the frames of “Triangle” Festival in Gyumri which was supposed to remind people of the authentic Armenian wedding traditions and the role of family in the Armenian society. Today the weddings have become an opportunity for celebrating families to make a big nice show for the neighbourhood full with alien elements. To organize that “show” for relatives and neighbours the young couple usually has to borrow money or take a loan to be able to afford the feast for the guests.
Organizers of the Crying Wedding demonstrated the community not only the happy aspect of the “show” but also the real one and encouraged people to rethink the real values of their society and the place of family in it.
After overcoming the crying part of the wedding the attention of the guests was attracted by Wish Tree standing in front of the … Church. The children around the Tree in colourful clothes and hats were asking the passersby to write what changes and improvements they would wish to see in their city and hang the “apples” back on the Tree. While reading the “harvest” we found in some cases serious wishes such as more working places, less corruption, smaller prices for gas and electricity, but there were also surprising and concrete ones as well. So, one of the participants wrote that he/she “wishes there will be more trash bins in the 58th district…” or more cultural events like that Community Art Festival in the city.
The third activity organized within the frames of “Triangle” festival aimed to eliminate the environmental pollution with plastic. To raise the issue several participants of the activity gathered some plastic bottles around, made a circle and started to “play” music. After a time people started to join with their bottles and play, the others just gathered around and were listening the music. In the end everyone threw their bottles in a special container foreseen only for plastic.