June 17, 2009


chgitem ov kara asi inchy kkardacvi kam chi kardacvi inchy klini haskacac u um hamar
ov e yntrelu et telery u um hamar inch e gorcelu dra hamar aveli lav e linel hnaravorins chezoq tox yntercoxy et telery hyusi ete dranic hnaravor e mi ban hyusel :)
es et girqy kkardam mi or hastat)

hartse vor uzum em tal boloris -- karogh enk tpel ayn namaknere voronk ugharkel enk listin? liste, bnakanabar mi pak mijavayr er, vortegh vor kich te shat azat eink grum u knnarkum mer xndirnere. hima xoske gnum e hanraynatsnelu ays project-e, aysinkn mer namakagrutyunnere kdarnan hanrayin. inch kartsikner kan . .

yete ays namagnere etkan garevor en, yerevani context-um ouremen dbenk. baytz yes hamazayn em angelai hed vor aveli luv gelini vor hodvazner dbven voch te amboghjovin, kani vor ays desage gerker hasde chi gardazvoum:))eli amar yegav yev yes ou narinen (aghjiks) amen or hishoom enk yerevane ou zez amenid shad shad enk garodoom... houysov amenid myous garoun gedesnem

sireli wow-tsiner, inchpes vor gitek, uzum enk tpel mi girk vore kendgrki mer ambogh namakagrutyunnere ays listi vra. arajin namakits minchev aha ays namake neraryal kuzenaink hratarakel "www.queeringyerevan" vernagrov hastapor grkum. lusinen ashxatum e layout-i vra, yes yerevi te xmbagrem vorosh chapov, kuzenaink girke tpel minchev mayise.

I, for one, do not remember every message I wrote to this list; therefore, I would like to ask if, prior to going to print, we can review the material. At the point we will be better able to decide if there are any letters we do not wish to have included in the book. What do you think?

Knerek, es kartses communicatsion gtsits durs em ynkel.Kartsum em namakagrutyunn yndhanur edpes tpely voch te hanraynatsnel e nshanakum, ayl artadrel mi text, vor voch vok chi haskana u chi el karda.Ete mer xndiry hanraynatsneln e, apa arajarkum em yntrel namakagrutyan voroshaki teler ev drank hratarakel.

I think I must have forgotten or not known that one purpose of the list was to create a book. I probably would have written differently if so. I think it's a good idea too, and commend you for it. But I think it's a mistake to suggest no one will read it in its entirety, as Angela suggested. The goal should be a readable, fascinating book. No? The ideas exchanged, the relationships between people, the surprises, are what will draw people in to hear this group of women.I like Angela's suggestion of thematic topics, based around discussion threads. Or maybe even a loosely narrative construction. I think it will be a challenge, but definitely worth it. If you happen to want to print sth I wrote, could you let me know first?Sorry if I am being a pain. I know, of all people, you'd think I would care the least, given what I have published. :) I think it has something to do with not knowing the full intent of the list, but it seems I'm the only one who didn't get that.

we'll pull all the emails out and lusine will put them together in a draft to see what we have. i like the idea of threads too but seriously -- this is not fiction and selection is not our goal: the goal is to archive a two-year conversation that has been most productive to us, in various ways -- if not collectively, then alternatively, individually, and otherwise. this "unspace" has been the most real space and it's created possibilities. we need a record of that. not in the form of a pdf, or a blog, not in the form of censored and cut up pieces, but boldly, in boldface, on paper, thick and heavy, as our conversations have been -- thick and full of weight.


barev nancy > > > > vonc es? > > > > indz hamar shat karevor e vor ays namaknery darnan> hanrain

I agree with Nancy. The only book we were talking about printing that I remember was more of a catalogue of our exhibit last summer... I don't remember talking about printing a book from our correspondence on the listserv, but perhaps I too haven't been following that closely...
I also mentioned to Shushan that if something I wrote is going to be published, I would like to see it first. Then, because in Shushan's email she asked for a "yay" or "nay" (and it seemed to me we had to respond in haste), I said "nay"; that is, I don't want anything I wrote to the listserv to be published. I don't remember everything I wrote and what I did write was for the purposes of the group not for publication. I think there is a good purpose to collaborating and publishing a book about correspondence among queer women and allies, artists, and activists (and such an international group that we are!); I really feel like it could be empowering and enriching. However, I think there are better ways to go about doing it. If we are truly a collective, then decisions should be made collectively and the needs and concerns of all should be taken into account.


Barev Shushan, I think there is a need for such a concrete book of women's voices among Armenian readers, in Armenia and the diaspora. But I'm not so sure about thinking of it as an archive or a document, which sounds like an academic text, or something geared for researchers or people in the future who want to find out about Armenian women. Regular people should want to read it, here and now. It shouldn't just be about expressing voices but reaching eyes and ears. We made Andaratsutian Mej not so accessible in terms of language, in order to make a point about Armenian women not being so easily classifiable, so I see where you are coming from. But since the format of the list was a free kind of expression, where everyone felt comfortable to express oneself, but where we also needed help to understand each other, I would suggest making a format that suggests both modes for the reader -- freedom and difficulty.It's wrong to critique it, though, before you even start, and I probably won't be able to offer suggestions once there is a draft...But I would be curious to hear more on what kind of shape you are thinking of putting it in.Also, I am not so clear -- you need my permission to use my writing before I know what writing you'll use? Do you think you'll use any of it?I am not sure why I am writing so much on this... But I miss everyone. :(

Wow-tsiner, inchpes gitek, es koghm ei grqi gaghaparin, bayts aijm mi pokr tarakusum em. Nax - vorn e mer xndiry - 1. hanraynatsnel, 2. arxivatsnel 3. virtual taratsutyunuts durs gal u imast fixel, te urish ban? Inch vor e` petk e nkati unenal, vor es naxagtsits heto listserve-n el nuyny chi lini. Vaxenum em, vor voroshaki gitaktsakan, te angitakcakan sahmanner enk mttsnum listi communicative hnaravorutyunneri mej` ir bolor negative hetevanqnerov. Hartsn en e, te ardyoq arji?


so the blog was a huge turning> point for the group! i mean all of us getting together in> armenia was also huge... they are somewhat equally as big.> what if we used some of the dialogue on the listserv to set> up the idea of reaching summer 2008 and what our plans and> goals were as a group... how we achieved some of these> goals and plans and where some of our downfalls and clashes> were. then work in dialogue on after we all left... did we> go our separate ways, how we were all somewhat bummed and> then bounced back and the blog surfaced. at that point we> really became a global queer womens group. we already were> but now we were using all resources... integrating the use> of the internet and come back stronger (in my opinion). then> leave the book with all of our should we do its> and should we donts. and that way we can leave the book> open ended... like our group has more plans... bigger and> better! coming back after learning something about coming> out! and other issues.

i really wasn't thinking of this, you see -- i mean apart from reproducing the correspondence. i don't want it to be a reflection, or an analysis of the correspondence, but rather, the thing itself. this correspondence has been different for each one of us and it shows through the emails. there is a distinct feeling of hesitation, incompletion, that something has been left unfinished, in this correspondence -- that's the most important for me. that we were unable to say everything, that we didn't finish the goals that we had set from the get go, that the exhibit failed to express what we wanted it to express, solely because we weren't quite sure what we wanted it to express -- we all had different perceptions and none were crowned with fulfillment. what we succeeded though was the process, the correspondence, the getting there where we never got to. it is the journey. the destiny is not important, only the journey. we thought we had a point ofconvergence where we all would meet and where we all would bring treasures found on the road. there were no treasures. but the thinking of the traces that we'd made, got lost, the tracking back, the moving forward, the discovery that there is no destination, the surprise that no treasures can be found -- all that, yes that is what this correspondence holds in it. no more. it's a map. of traces and tracks. of mistakes and losses. of discovery and invention. i agree, the book is open-ended, like you said. for me, at least, it is.

kardum em dzer pataskhannery u hartsnum inch katarvets mi tarva mej. inch vor ban pokhvel e. mi tari araj namknery tpely mer protsesin aveli shat ushadrutiun dartsneln er qan vor mez tesnum ein vorpes tsutsahandesi masnakitsner. hima uremn arden che. mi qich hervits enq kartses naum u urish imast enq uzum tal qan araj. indz tvum e vor hima grqi vra ashkhately talis e hnaravorutiun urish protsesi mej mtnelu.
shat em uzum ais hartsum el bolors linenq. chgitem hapakhel te voch ogtagortselu hamar miasnakan bary, vomanq chen hamadzainvi. im hamar mievnuin e menq miasnakan enq u menq khumb enq.
ekeq ekokh tari havaqvenq yerevanum u mer girqy qnnarkenq.

it helps to know when and how the decision to publish a book of letters took place. since i don't remember or didn't hear this conversation, i was still thinking of the list as a private, safe space. I think it's important to respect that idea for others who feel the same way.
I think using material from the blog isn't controversial because inherent in its format is the ability for everyone to self-select material to post. we were consciously deciding to make material public, and in many cases even collaborating to post.
That said, I can understand how publishing letters from a wide variety of writers is important, because it shows more dialogue than what's on the blog. It's good that many people knew the intention to publish it. But for those who didn't, perhaps they can self-select their own correspondence to be included in the book, rather than having it be chosen for them.

Lus, inchn e ujos?

inchi(( vorovhetev mi shabatic girqy tparanic vercnum enq

es asi da boloris hamar surprise klini en el es reakcianeric taqutyuns barcracav mernum em

> I think it has something to do with not knowing the full intent of the > list, but it seems I'm the only one who didn't get that.

to this i have one thing to say: intentional fallacy. how can we know the writer(s)' intention? is it possible to *know* the FULL intent of something that is created, constructed, destroyed, revised by a group of people? the intent is never to be considered -- it can't be considered.

meaning changes constantly. the meaning of the list was one thing, now it's changing. it's a chain of meanings that are never static or monological. the intent of the list, if you will, is transformation and evolution -- it can never stay the same.

I think we are glossing over the real problems that some members have with the idea with a post-structuralist blah-blah over intentionality and meaning. I just wish we don't refer to theoretical positions to cover up our practical deeds.
I think, it is a problem to publish the book as an archive, for example. What's the point of archiving our conversations? Are we already so totally dead as a group? I am not against archives, but if we are talking about archiving something, we should face some of the issues that this practice entails.
If the goal is to publicize our activities, then priting a 200-300 page conversation in Armenian, with English letters will not win us much of an audience, not even ourselves!
How about making some really creative interventions, for example - an artistic project in Lovers' Park? I think that the group is in a general stagnation of creativity.

dear all i have been following our dialogue over the queering yerevan issue
and i have to say that every point that has been brought up by each person
has been valid and relevant, without refuting the validity of the others',
and i am not attempting to be 'clever' when i say this. but what is
the right path when everyone is a little right but not totally so?
having said that i have to admit that angela has hit the problem over the
head by pointing out the repetitious and stagnant nature of such a creative
back-pedalling. why not instead publish an anthology of writing: a piece by
each and every one of us including some images and put together a dynamic
readable publication, we can be proud of? the diversity of our voices and
points of view would be much more effective if we were addressing a larger
group than our listserve, don't you think?

> In fact, if I recall, you have *corrected* me in
> the past by stating the purpose of this group is not to
> advance queer issues or connect with other Armenian LGBT
> folks per se (this, in relation to my asking to put a fellow
> Armenian lesbian's blog up on our list of resources on
> our blog). So inherently (whether it is verbalized or not),
> the group has an intention. It just seems to be constantly
> shifting and seems to be different things to different
> people. Which I know you would say is a good thing (and
> perhaps an "intention" in its own right).

i'm seeing two (maybe even more) different (dissonant) forces opposing the publication of the correspondence. one dominant thread says we're risking our safety, we're opening up a space that has been the sole place where we've been able to express ourselves unabashedly and freely. a place we call our own. publicizing some of the things said on this list would provoke the safety of the group (and individuals within the group). the other dominant thread says the book will have no audience -- it won't be of interest to the people beyond wow. that it would not attract a readership and that it would be a waste of paper and ink, a waste of breath. that we should redirect that breath and that energy to create something utterly different and innovative, something that would be marketable and directed at a specific audience. there is also a third dominant thread saying lets dismantle the safety that we've constructed around ourselves, lets step outside the cocoon
where we've transformed and morphed into various shapes, and detach/look at/assess the broken wall from the outside. read ourselves in a different context. rearrange the traces of our journey and juxtapose them to present paths, making the journey palpable and newly perceived. how else can we perceive and recognize the absences and the presences that flicker within the group? what else might express the distance and the distant body better than a book of correspondence that has attempted (and perhaps failed) to keep us unified? what else can manifest the process of translation that we've struggled with, a process that has made our "otherness" visible to one another and catalyzed the "other" in us, while attempting (and perhaps failing) to create a familiar language that we all can understand. and what else can manifest the difficult road complicated by conceptual conflicts that renewed and strengthened the sense of hope and persistence within the group?

it has been raining here a lot in the past couple days. the snails have crawled out from their hiding places and gathered around the rotting table in the zarubyan garden. arpi said, careful, don't step on them. but it was too late -- someone had already been there before us and among the red mulberries smashed on the ground i saw a few broken shells and slime. the table needs to be repaired -- it needs a new top and sturdy legs. the paint has chipped away.


  1. p.s. heteroglossia should not be confused with a simple celebration of linguistic diversity, for the term alludes not only to the co-existence of “languages” within a language, but their co-existence in a state of tension and competition. in particular, baxtin attempts to describe the tension between those forces within a unified (national) language which are pulling it towards a standard central version, and those forces which are tugging away from the national standard towards the demotic or the dialectal. any utterance exists at the intersection of these centripetal and centrifugal forces, and positions itself in relation to them.