Naregatsi Art Institute NAGORNO-KARABAKH

Naregatsi Art Institute NAGORNO-KARABAKH

New life on the ruins of the old one.

There is a new generation growing in the small town of Shushi, who does not remember the bloody fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh. Although 20 years have passed since the end of the war between two Transcaucasian neighbours – Armenia and Azerbaijan – you can still feel its aura in the town: many houses are empty and some are destroyed. However there are places, where people’s cultural life thrives. One of them is the Naregatsi Art Institute, built on the ruins – over 130 children and young people spend their time there. Small Armenians have a chance to get to know their traditional folk instruments or dance. When travelling the world with their show, they spread knowledge about their culture and identity. For ages, Nagorno-Karabakh has been an object of interest of various nations, however ethnically, the Armenians have always predominated here. In spite of this, after the First World War, the right to this territory was given to the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic and the process of dearmenianization started. In 1988, when the disintegration of the Soviet Union was already obvious, the Karabakh inhabitants regained their hope for an independent state or annexation to Armenia. It turned out however that this would be a long process consuming a lot of victims – about 35 thousand people died in the Armenian Azerbaijan war between 1988-1994. At present, although in the light of the international law it belongs to Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is a quasi-state with its own government, which however is not recognised by any country in the world.