“There is no independence when you live within the boundaries of others”

In Yerevan History Museum on 20 september was opened the exhibition ‘’There is no independence, when you live in the boundaries determined by the foreigners” devoted to the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia and the 2793rd anniversary of Yerevan .

After the proclamation of the First Republic of Armenia historical Artsakh began a stubborn and continual struggle for its reunion with motherland. But hard political conditions didn’t allow the Armenians who lined in Artsakh to realize their goals. After becoming a member of the Soviet Union, Armenia took serious steps to make Artsakh an inseparable part of Armenia. This time too historical Artsakh with 95% of Armenian population became part of Azerbaijan because of the illegal decision of Caucasian bureau of Russian Communist (Bolshevik) Party.

During the 70 years of the existence of the Soviet Union the Armenians protested against that illegality but in vain. In 1988 the Armenians of Nagorno Karabagh, inspired by Gorbachov’s ‘‘reconstruction’’ policy, raised ‘‘Karabagh problem’’ again trying to reunite with Armenia. Many thousands of people took up demonstrations. In Yerevan people with tableaux came out to Opera (later Azatutyan) Square to bring their voice to the whole world. The authors of tableaux were people of different ages and professions including schoolchildren, students, adults, labourers and intellectuals. The tableaux expressed their anxiety, mood and wishes. They had different manifestations of genres and context variety.

During Karabagh movement the tableaux were compliments to oral information because during demonstrations political speeches were without illustrated information as Soviet TV and press didn’t reflect the real situation thoroughly, and the estimation of events were thought to be tendentious. In this case the tableaux partially took the functions of free press. The tableaux were peculiar negotiators through which were transferred people’s views. These were directed not only to the authorities but also to the Armenian people and to the whole world. In other words the tableaux are one of the expressive ways of national identification, which as a rule appear in critical moments for the society guiding people during mass demonstrations. The tableaux as illustrated ‘‘witnesses’’ of social process usually react changes of situations immediately giving a chance to follow stages of social developments. Parallel to the fast changing events self-consciousness of the people was changing, which was still expressed by the tableaux. It’s not surprising that the tableaux of 1988 and those of 1990 differ from each other in context. It was one of the indicators of the reality that a radical change took place in Armenian self-consciousness: a generation of independence was formed. In the streets of Yerevan you can still see tableaux, but they are just means of self- expressing daily forms of civil society.

In the exhibition is represented part of the tableaux collections of Yerevan History Museum.

Yerevan History Museum