The Armenian Rugs Society is proud to announce it is now accepting applications for internship opportunities targeting high school, college, and university students, as well as others individuals interested in public service within a vibrant and growing non-profit organization.
Those interested in connecting with a passionate global community learning about Armenian culture, the textile arts, exhibition and symposium organizing, curating, and event planning, as well as a slew of other activities and projects, are urged to apply.
All interns will receive commensurate community service and volunteer experience and accreditation. Some positions may become paid part-time or full-time opportunities in due course.
Please inquire and/or apply via our website CONTACT page or via our e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with #internship in the comment section or subject line.
The Armenian Rugs Society is proud to announce its new eco-friendly, digital newsletter (part of our effort towards paperless operations) and the opening of our new website at armenianrugssociety.org which went live in late April/early May of this year, as did so many things in the world of Armenian arts, culture, and social life.
Changes in the Homeland were followed by great new activities and events here in the US with our three-week long participation in the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival and its associated activities in Washington DC, a rugs exhibit and lecture during Armenia's first Independence Centennial celebration in Detroit, and continued work with our amazing colleagues in Armenia at the Folk Arts Hub Foundation, and so much more...
The Festival brought together Armenian woven arts and cultural artisans and performers from all over, especially from all parts of the Republic of Armenia, which included weavers, sculptors, stone carvers, culinary experts, singers, dancers, and Armenian heritage performers. I was honored to curate the Armenian woven arts/carpets portion of the festival which included master weavers from Armenia's Folk Arts Hub Foundation and Tufenkian Carpets, among others. We were able to interact with countless individuals (some estimates say close to one million...!) over the span of the festival's activities, bringing the rich culture of Armenian woven arts to a greater and very interested audience.
Prior to the festival's incredible outpouring of emotion and celebration, we also dealt with some challenges one of which is sadly ever-present in Armenian life, but reared its ugly head more audaciously, once again, in April. The Azeri government and allies began an international campaign, within the world press and international art circles, claiming age-old Armenian woven arts traditions and carpets were Azeri and part of so-called "Azeri culture." The Armenian Rugs Society rose to face this unmitigated criminal act head-on and, with the aid of a seasoned writer from within our community, issued a press release which echoed the truth throughout the Armenian and non-Armenian press, here and abroad.
Our age-old and, yet, so vibrant woven arts traditions continued to gain steam this year, not only here at the renowned Smithsonian, but in the Homeland where it matters most. New generations of Armenian artists and artisans, academics and experts have taken up both the cause of Armenian woven arts, as well as the weaver's loom. The Armenian Folk Arts Hub Foundation in Yerevan, in conjunction with the Armenian Rugs Society, continues to raise the bar when it comes to transmitting our cultural traditions to new generations of artisans via our well-known (and well-received) Adopt-a-Loom initiative throughout rural Armenia.
In accordance with our commitment to transmitting our heritage to a new generation and serving our community in the cause of our culture, the Armenian Rugs Society is now initiating an internship program wherein interested individuals--high school, college and university students, as well as others--will have an opportunity to help a registered non-profit in its daily endeavors and, most importantly, work and learn in an environment of ever growing beauty and historical significance. Besides the unparalleled experience of working with the Armenian Rugs Society, all interns will also be earning volunteer, work experience, and community service credits.
Please contact us via our email at email@example.com or through our CONTACT page with #intership in the subject line or comment area.
More new projects are in the offing including new collaborations and partnerships with universities, research centers, and museums as well as cultural groups both here and abroad, which we look forward to sharing with all our members, supporters and friends around the world and in Armenia and Artsakh.
Thank you for all your support and your generous donations both financial and in kind.
Yours Respectfully and Sincerely,
Armenian Rugs Society
Azeris Portray Ancient Armenian Textile and Woven Arts Culture as Being an Azerbaijani Turkish Tradition
Official Azerbaijan, in collusion with members of the private sector close to the Azeri regime, has launched a campaign geared towards appropriating ancient Armenian carpet, rug, and textile weaving traditions and production as their own by generating articles in local and international news outlets, sponsoring exhibits, and publishing art books that portray Armenian woven arts and history, as their own.
Several Azeri news sources (Sputnik Azerbaijan, World Economics Magazine: Azerbaijan Journal of Economics, Finance and Business), supported and abetted by the Azeri government—a notorious human rights violator--have recently published articles erroneously claiming that what are clearly Armenian carpets and rugs of global renown, from a variety of historic Armenian regions, including the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), respectively, are Azeri cultural artifacts and traditions.
In one such article, “Revival of Azerbaijani Carpet,” the author, Ainur Veliyeva, has actually paraphrased verbiage taken directly from an Armenian Rugs Society publication (Weavers, Merchants, and Kings, 1980) concerning historical accounts of Armenian rugs, and has replaced the words “Armenia” and “Armenian,” wherever they appeared in the text, with the words “Azerbaijan” and “Azerbaijani.”
“The Azerbaijani carpet has an ancient history - so ancient that already ancient historians Herodotus, Claudius Elian and Xenophon wrote about the development of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan. Carpet weaving, the most common kind of folk craft, became a symbol of the Azerbaijani people. Carpets expressing the idea of protection of the home and harmony create coziness in the house, filling the space of the room with a meaning and visually increasing it. Not without reason, experienced housewives in the renovation of the interior primarily care about the quality and beauty of carpets, curtains and lighting fixtures. Today, Azerbaijan revives carpet weaving, which has somewhat reduced the pace of development and production volumes in the country. Currently, the first stage of the revival is under way, involving the construction of 10 carpet-making enterprises, and in the future their number will be brought to 30.”
--“Revival of Azerbaijani Carpet”
World Economics Magazine: Azerbaijan Journal Of Economics, Finance And Business
February 26, 2018
(Translated from the Russian via Google Chrome Translate)
These salacious contentions are, of course, diametrically opposed to decades of work produced by countless academics, experts, and specialists from around the world, regarding the provenance of the artifacts and the millennial traditions of Armenian artisans and craftspeople, as well as their vast influence on other cultures.
This unabashed falsification of history and cultural capital is the latest in a long line of smear campaigns and propaganda that not only strike at the heart and soul of Armenian cultural identity, but is a harsh blow to the international arts community and to woven arts scholarship in general, putting in serious danger whole academic disciplines and bodies of work.
Sadly, the Azeri and Turkish states have long engaged in heinous policies and actions targeting Armenians and Armenian culture. The early part of the last century saw the wholesale slaughter and deportation of Armenians from the Armenian Highlands, and, then, the wholesale destruction of Armenian architectural sites, cultural artifacts, archeological treasures, and myriad other cultural properties, across once vibrant historic Armenia, filled-out the rest of the century.
Unfortunately, the early 21st century did not bode well for Armenian cultural preservation either, as atrocities both human and material continue at the hands of the Azeri state in and around historic Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and Nakhichevan, the millennial home of indigenous Armenians.
These myriad and misguided attempts to erase the native origins of a far-reaching Armenian cultural reality, and the woven arts, in particular, are horrific in and of themselves. However, within the context of Azerbaijan’s bloody history of pogroms against its own Armenian population (as well as other minorities), its attempted genocide and current continued aggression against the Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), and its despicable record of destroying precious World Heritage Sites, such as the once profoundly beautiful Cross Stones of Nakhichevan, this #altnews fiasco, in the age of the internet, begins to take on a wholly different and sinister meaning.
The Turkish and Azeri states have not only engaged in genocide, but continue to attempt to strip the survivors of genocide, and their progeny, of any and all cultural meaning, memory, and motifs that have somehow survived and, indeed, form the fundament of Armenian cultural identity. To leave the victims of genocide bereft of all meaning, tradition, and identity, to which they cling so dearly, is to deny their very existence and is the final and most horrendous stage of genocide.
This concerted effort to usurp, appropriate, and distort Armenian cultural traditions and production, and its dire consequences to international arts scholarship, must be stopped immediately.
The Armenian Rugs Society, a non-profit organization founded in Washington D.C., in 1980, has dedicated itself to the identification, preservation, and documentation of Armenian woven arts, as well as to the dissemination of the cultural contributions made by Armenian weavers and craftspeople to the rich and vibrant history of textile arts.
The Society, with the help of its members, supporters, academicians, and collectors has been at the forefront of preserving and promoting the precious global heritage treasure that is the Armenian woven arts tradition. The Society has also, by the nature of its very mission, been forced to deal with the callous, crass, and seemingly endless acts of aggression by the Azeris and their allies within the realm of art scholarship and culture.
Now, with the help of scholars, textile experts, and organizations, both Armenian and non-Armenian, we can begin to set the record straight and uphold, with dignity, these global cultural traditions that have brought so much joy, meaning, and artistic excellence to not only the Armenian people, but to world culture and history over the span of centuries.
Please join us in support of the truth and let your voice be heard.
For the Armenian Rugs Society