Conservationists turn to dance to save one of Yerevan’s most historic neighbourhoods

Conservationists turn to dance to save one of Yerevan’s most historic neighbourhoods

30 June 2020

Armenian creatives have dropped their own dance video to protest the demolition of historic buildings in Yerevan.

Directed by documentary filmmaker Arthur Sukiasyan, Demolition and Preservation features performer Christina Danielyan dancing against the backdrop of a construction site in the capital’s Firdus district. The neighbourhood is one of the last in the city to feature traditional 19th and early 20th century vernacular architecture, and many of the buildings are being torn down to make way for new developments.

A dozen urbanist and anti-corruption groups have already signed an open letter asking the government to “immediately stop the destruction of the Firdus district”. The team behind the film wanted to go one step further.

They told The Calvert Journal that the three places share similar issues of neglect, yet they represent “a testament to the past”.

“By moving Christina’s dance from one space to another, she creates a bridge,” they said. “[It’s] strengthening the idea that a person’s conscious and caring attitude towards their own surroundings will have a decisive role for future generations.”

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