Following Sasuntsi Davit -- the Symbol of Liberty

Armenia
Yelizaveta Shirinyan
Intangible
2020
  • Share this story:
In 2012, “Performance of the Armenian epic of 'Daredevils of Sassoun' or 'Davit of Sassoun’” application submitted by the Republic of Armenia was unanimously accepted and included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Moreover, in 2012, Yerevan was named the World Book Capital, also celebrating the 500th anniversary of Armenian Printing. On that occasion, within the scope of numerous events, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts presented the exhibition Sasuntsi Davit Epic in Armenian Visual Arts in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, dedicated to the Armenian epic “Daredevils of Sassoun.” https://www.cmf.am/Sasuntsi-David-Epic-in-Armenian-Visual-Arts/status/3/page/10 “Daredevils of Sassoun” epic was created in the Middle Ages and was passed on through generations via storytellers, reaching us. Around 160 versions of the epic are registered today, in different languages and different dialects of the Armenian language. The epic is a source of inspiration in all aspects of modern art. Armenian artists have created many valuable compositions in different art forms on the topic of the epic. The most symbolic of those compositions is, perhaps, the monumental sculpture by Yervand Kochar (1899-1979) “Sasuntsi Davit,” located in front of the Railway Station of Yerevan (1959). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasuntsi_Davit_(statue) “Following Sasuntsi Davit” educational program, implemented at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, presents a wonderful opportunity to newly perceive our centuries-old cultural heritage, emphasizing the iconic role of the epic in the formation of the identity of the new generation. https://www.cmf.am/Following-Sasuntsi-Davit Highly valuing the fact that Armenia is an inseparable part of the European cultural heritage, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts presents the national epic within the scope of “Following Sasuntsi Davit” educational program, reproduced through a modern means of expression – comics. The Mission of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts is to bring the best of contemporary art to Armenia and present the best of Armenian culture to the world.
Following Sasuntsi Davit -- the Symbol of Liberty Here the fiery angel once more took aloft; And onward from that happy day of joyous tidings, When nine months did pass and nine hours more, Lion-Mher a child did have; and Davit He named his cub... (Translated by Aram Tolegian) This excerp from the Armenian national epic “Sasna Tsrer” (“Daredevils of Sassoun”) describes the birth of Sasuntsi Davit (Davit of Sassoun), one of the protagonists of the epic. The epic is often called “Sasuntsi Davit,” despite the fact that only one of its four chapters is dedicated to Davit. “Sasna Tsrer” epic is deemed the history and philosophy of the Armenian people, their worldview, and the summary of the experience and wisdom they obtained throughout the centuries. Armenians crafted the positive characters of the epic in their own likeness, inserting the best features of their national character -- first of all, appreciation of labor and creation, love towards the truth, freedom, courage, kindness, and strife for peace. In 2009, right in the heart of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, in the Cascade complex, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts (CCA) opened its doors to the public. Back in the 1980s, when the complex was still under construction, architect Jim Torosian (1926-2014) asked sculptor Artashes Hovsepyan (1931-2017) to decorate one of the galleries. The scupltor and his four assistants worked in that gallery for four years. The gallery now bears the name “Sasuntsi Davit.” The multi-figure composition in Sasuntsi Davit Gallery, depicting more than thirty episodes from the Armenian epic, is the sculptural version of the famous graphic work by renowned Armenian artist Hakob Kojoyan (1883-1959). Sasuntsi Davit Relief, approximately 15 times larger than the original graphic piece, has a monumental power. The main hero of the national epic poem, Davit, is in the center. This central frame is surrounded with other compositions, presenting various episodes from Davit's life, including his birth, his first hunt, him as a shepherd, crucial chapters from his fights, and other epic moments (with appropriate quotes from the epic below every image). In the bordering frames of the relief are depicted decorations, landscapes, castle walls, etc. https://www.cmf.am/Sasuntsi-Davit-Relief During its 10-year operational period, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, along with exhibitions, has implemented over 50 educational programs and initiatives designed for schools, families, different age and special target groups. “Following Sasuntsi Davit” educational program, based on Artashes Hovsepyan’s Sasuntsi Davit relief exhibition at CCA, stands out from those programs. https://www.cmf.am/Following-Sasuntsi-Davit Designed for schoolchildren over 8 and families, this is one of CCA’s most popular programs. Within the scope of the program, CCA actively collaborates with local schools. As the epic is included in school syllabi, schoolchildren are already somewhat familiar with the chapters, main characters, and the narrative of the epic, when visiting the Center. The program is held in Sasuntsi Davit Gallery. In the first part of the program, participants are familiarized with Artashes Hovsepyan’s Sasuntsi Davit relief and Hakob Kojoyan’s artwork of the same name. A transition is then made from fine arts to literature – the epic. The participants present the epic interactively with the help of the conductor of the program, focusing on the passages about Sasuntsi Davit. During the second part of the program, the participants play a game. They receive passages from the epic and have to guess which part of the relief those passages describe. After correctly guessing, a puzzle of Hakob Kojoyan’s artwork is solved. During the creative part of the program, each participant chooses a scene from the epic, using corresponding texts and recreates it on paper as a comics. At the end of the program, all participants collect their works and chronologically compile a new book. Each group leaves the Center with a uniquely illustrated version of the epic. Even those who are not well acquainted with the epic have the opportunity to hear and see it vividly and recreate it. To date, 150 educational sessions have been held within the scope of “Following Sasuntsi Davit” program, with more than 3000 participants.

European Dimension

EUROPEAN DIMENSION In 2012, “Performance of the Armenian epic of 'Daredevils of Sassoun' or 'Davit of Sassoun’” application submitted by the Republic of Armenia was unanimously accepted and included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Moreover, in 2012, Yerevan was named the World Book Capital, also celebrating the 500th anniversary of Armenian Printing. On that occasion, within the scope of numerous events, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts presented the exhibition Sasuntsi Davit Epic in Armenian Visual Arts in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, dedicated to the Armenian epic “Daredevils of Sassoun.” https://www.cmf.am/Sasuntsi-David-Epic-in-Armenian-Visual-Arts/status/3/page/10 “Daredevils of Sassoun” epic was created in the Middle Ages and was passed on through generations via storytellers, reaching us. Around 160 versions of the epic are registered today, in different languages and different dialects of the Armenian language. The epic is a source of inspiration in all aspects of modern art. Armenian artists have created many valuable compositions in different art forms on the topic of the epic. The most symbolic of those compositions is, perhaps, the monumental sculpture by Yervand Kochar (1899-1979) “Sasuntsi Davit,” located in front of the Railway Station of Yerevan (1959). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasuntsi_Davit_(statue) “Following Sasuntsi Davit” educational program, implemented at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, presents a wonderful opportunity to newly perceive our centuries-old cultural heritage, emphasizing the iconic role of the epic in the formation of the identity of the new generation. https://www.cmf.am/Following-Sasuntsi-Davit Highly valuing the fact that Armenia is an inseparable part of the European cultural heritage, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts presents the national epic within the scope of “Following Sasuntsi Davit” educational program, reproduced through a modern means of expression – comics. The Mission of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts is to bring the best of contemporary art to Armenia and present the best of Armenian culture to the world.

Similar stories

There are no stories.