Monday, 1 September 2008
Iranian artists and gays find freedom in Armenia
"Every summer many Armenians living abroad in diasporas are coming home to experience their sacred ancient land; the local tourism caters mainly for them. However Armenia is also a space of…. freedom for quite different group of people. The young visual artists from Iran that borders Armenia in the south are coming here to study, create and show representational/figurative art that is forbidden in the Muslim fundamentalist society. The picturesque mountain lake Sevan – an Armenian natural treasure – is also a holiday destination for Iranian gay couples imprisoned and persecuted in their own country. The lake surrounded by mystical medieval monasteries cools the heat of this volatile yet promising region."
*from One Week in Yerevan: Art, Politics, and Sexuality by Pawel Leszkowicz
Pawel Leszkowicz is a curator and lecturer/writer from Poland ,specialising in contemporary art/visual culture and sexuality/queer studies. He curated the exhibition of contemporary queer art "Love and Democracy" (2005/2006) and wrote with his partner Tomek Kitlinski the book "Love and Democracy. He intends to develop an international perspective and contacts in this field, particularly in Eastern Europe. In Poland he teaches at the Department of Art History at the University and the Department of Intermedia at the Fine Arts Academy.