Anita Vogel: Network correspondent - Armenian Reporter

reporter.am

Anita Vogel: Network correspondent - Armenian Reporter

the armenian

culture&

artsthe

armenian

culture

reporter

&

July 19, 2008

July 19, 2008

reporter arts

Anita Vogel:

Network correspondent

ALMA and

ATP announce

exhibition

Page C3

Anne Bedian:

inspiring on

and off the

screen

Page C9

A reporter of

truth, an advocate

of justice

Page C8

See page C6


Siren’s Feast, or on the road with Nancy Mehagian

Siren’s Feast: An Edible

Odyssey by Nancy

Mehagian. Cielo Press,

2008, 340 pp.

reviewed by Shushan Avagyan

Siren’s Feast: An Edible Odyssey is a fascinating

autobiography, often described as

a culinary memoir, by Nancy Mehagian,

who has been involved with food and

healing since 1969, when she opened the

first vegetarian restaurant on the Spanish

island of Ibiza.

Set primarily against the backdrop of

the 1960s and early 1970s, and highly

reminiscent of Jack Kerouac’s famous

novel about spontaneous road trips

across America, Siren’s Feast weaves

stories of Mehagian’s spiritual journey

Shushan Avagyan is a doctoral student in English

and comparative literature at Illinois State University.

She has translated a volume of poetry by

Shushanik Kurghinian and a book on plot by Viktor

Shklovsky.

by Betty

Panossian-

Ter

Sarkissian

YEREVAN – For decades, the bronze

statue of Gara-bala had been a fixture

on Abovian Street in Yerevan, close to

Republic Square. It has now been temporarily

moved to the opposite sidewalk because

of construction work being carried

out on Northern Avenue, in the heart of

the capital. Old Gara-bala is a favorite

with locals and also with tourists, who

stop by to take photos next to the twometer-high

figure.

The statue of the old flower seller is

the work of Levon Tokmajyan. It was

erected in 1959. With his ragged clothes

and shabby appearance, Gara-bala somehow

captures the attention of passersby.

This affection is largely induced by

oral accounts of his life story and a folk

song that has made a legend out of this

scruffy old man.

According to the folk tale, Gara-bala

was a wealthy denizen of Yerevan at the

threshold of the 20th century, then a

grimy town with mud houses scattered

along Astafian Street (now Abovian

Street), its main thoroughfare. The leg-

Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture

Copyright © 2008 by Armenian Reporter llc

All Rights Reserved

Contact arts@reporter.am with announcements

To advertise, write business@reporter.am or call 1-201-226-1995

from the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, to

the most remote outposts of the world,

with over 40 delicious recipes, including

those from her Armenian mother’s

kitchen.

The book opens with the most amusing

lines, “Don’t you dare have that baby

today, Florence, and ruin our dinner,” as

the family matriarch issues instructions

to Nancy’s mother on Christmas Day.

Shortly after Nancy’s parents return

home from the family dinner, Florence

goes into labor, giving birth to a daughter,

who “having been made to wait developed

a certain impulsiveness.”

By 14, Nancy starts sneaking out from

home to hang out at the ballrooms in

South Phoenix, where Ray Charles and

James Brown performed. Later, in 1966,

when she transfers to the University of

Southern California, she persuades her

parents to send her to Italy to study at

the University of Florence for a semester.

By this time, she has already read

Dante and Pirandello in the originals,

smoked marijuana, and dropped acid

with a group of friends.

In January 1968 Nancy flies to Lisbon,

from where her incessant travels begin.

end says that Gara-bala once had his own

grand house on Astafian, a large family,

and a prosperous life. Good-hearted and

generous, he ended up losing all of his

wealth as he was in the habit of giving

money away to whomever asked for his

help. Gara-bala then became senile and

spent the rest of his days walking up

and down Abovian Street, handing out

flowers from his basket.

Today people celebrate Gara-bala as

a good-hearted person, a respected old

man with a hint of a philosophical approach

to life.

The folk song reinforces this story

with the words:

Gara-bala, Gara-bala,

You old flower seller,

The sweet smell of your flowers

Cannot be possessed by any other flower.

Gara-bala, Gara-bala,

You old flower seller,

The folks of Yerevan have not

In the slightest forgotten your flowers.

However, another version of Garabala’s

long-forgotten true identity persists

in the oral histories transmitted by

his contemporaries. He is remembered

as a ragged, skinny old drunkard, a tall,

skeletal figure, withered by alcohol, donning

a worn-out frock that wrapped his

body with its dusty color. His face was

black – either because of exposure to

the sun, since he spent his days walking

up and down the streets, or due to

the dirt that masked his face. His grizzly

hair and beard had not been combed for

She hitchhikes through Spain, boards a

ferry to Tangier, and, instead of going to

Italy, decides to stay in Morocco, where

she meets her first love, a Spaniard

named Alejandro. Her parents manage

to coax her to come back to Phoenix for

a short period. Here Nancy meets Taj

Mahal, who later comes to visit her in

Ibiza.

The sun-drenched island of Ibiza, like

a magnet attracting colonies of American

and European hippies, artists, and

musicians, soon becomes Nancy’s second

home, where she opens a vegetarian

restaurant called Double Duck, welcoming

everyone from her multifarious

“Ibiza family” of expatriates. But the

road keeps calling her, and after staying

in Ibiza for a year, Nancy sets out

for Kathmandu and from there to New

Delhi, where she meets up with friends

from Ibiza.

The next voyage takes Nancy to Beirut,

from where, after a series of dangerous

affairs, she ends up in Syria

with a troupe of cabaret dancers. In her

typically impulsive way, Nancy falls in

love with a Bedouin fiddler and at 24

becomes pregnant with his child. Un-

Who was Gara-bala, the old flower seller?

Gara-bala’s statue in Yerevan.Photos: Photolure. The original Gara-bala.

years and had turned into an indescribable

color in shades of black and gray.

Blackness was all around him and that

is why he was called Gara-bala, meaning

black boy.

The real-life Gara-bala liked to walk

up and down Abovian, a basket of

flowers dangling from his arm, his

head lost under the effects of alcohol,

not aware of where he was coming

from or where he was going to.

He liked visiting the pubs one by one

– not to meet people and chat, but to

get his daily alcohol fix. He used to

pass from one table to the other, and,

whenever he saw a beautiful woman,

he mumbled some words and handed

On page C1: Anita Vogel is a Los Angeles–based correspondent for Fox News.

Although she believes in luck and stars and planets aligning, her success is

due to her talent, courage, and persistence. Behind the delicate exterior lies a

feisty spirit. See story on page C6.

fortunately this moment of joy is shortlived

as Nancy gets herself in serious

trouble and ends up in the infamous

London prison. After a 16-month incarceration

and giving birth to a lovely

daughter named Vedra, Nancy’s journey

comes full circle when she returns

home and finds her true purpose and

meaningful work through Mary Burmeister,

an enigmatic teacher of the

ancient Japanese healing art of jin shin

jyutsu.

Mehagian begins each chapter with an

epigraph from various adored authors

and poets such as James Baldwin, Cervantes,

William Blake, Edna St. Vincent

Millay, Oscar Wilde, Zora Neale Hurston,

and many others. And to offer

food for thought, literally, the book’s 36

chapters are interspersed with most delectable

recipes from all over the globe

– as Quincy Jones puts it, “I don’t know

whether to eat this book, smoke it, or

make love to it.”

Siren’s Feast is full of vitality as well as

profundity, resonating with meditations

and memoirs that grip you with sensual

impressions and storytelling that’s captivating,

engaging, and fresh. f

her a flower.

As a rule, Gara-bala was treated to a

glass of wine, which he swigged in one

gulp then approached the next table,

where he would be an object of entertainment

to the wealthy young boys.

So, moving from one table to the next,

wandering from one inn to the other,

Gara-bala passed his days. As evening

approached, he shuffled in his worn out

shoes towards Kond, in the peripheries

of what is now the Central District

of Yerevan, to spend the night in his

hole. Come morning, he would reprise

his routine.

It is not clear how the shabby old drunkard

portrayed by his contemporaries has

been transformed into the philanthropist

whose life in his old age had a twist of

tragedy. Whoever he may have been, the

endearing figure of Gara-bala’s statue will

continue to be a beloved landmark, giving

Abovian Street its own cultural flavor. f

C2 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008


Soundtrack of your life

Gor Mkhitarian, United

Fantasies: Exit Ahead

(PE-KO World Music and

GorMusic, 2008)

reviewed by James R. Russell

The new album by Gor Mkhitarian, a musician

and poet from Kirovakan/Vanadzor,

Armenia, has 12 tracks in Armenian

with one remix of “Dream” (“Yeraz”), a

song from a previous album.

Gor’s early records deal with life

in Armenia. After recent forays into

English-language lyrics and an appeal

to the mainstream of the U.S. market,

Gor returned in his last album, Acoustic

Folklore, to the Armenian language and

themes. The heroic ballad of the region

south of Van, Mokats Mirza, recorded

by Komitas Vardapet, receives an exciting,

ingenious new interpretation on

that record, as does the ancient folk

song of the Bingöl region northwest of

Van, Tehkonda. The latter, titled after

its first line, “Inchu Bingyole Mtar,” can

be enjoyed also as an animated video

clip on Gor’s site and on YouTube. These

modern arrangements are an important

contribution to the world music genre

and are a welcome phenomenon on the

Armenian musical scene as well.

All the songs on United Fantasies are

in Armenian, and the booklet in the CD

case contains full texts with English

translations. The artists are new. Though

one misses the virtuoso banjo picking of

Aaron Stayman from the old band, the

all-new ensemble, from the electronics

and percussion to the keyboard (especially

on “Last Letter”), are excellent.

The focus of the album – when not

on personal issues – is not so much

WATERTOWN, Mass. – The Armenian

Library and Museum of America

(ALMA) and the Armenia Tree Project

(ATP) have been collaborating on “A

Photographic Journey of Armenia’s

Natural Treasures,” a juried environmental

exhibit that aims to bring attention

to Armenia’s ecological heritage

and evolving environment.

This past spring the two organizations

hosted an open call for

submissions that attracted more

than 600 submissions from photographers

throughout the world.

Following the judging process, the

submissions were narrowed down

and 35 winners were chosen. According

to ALMA, the selected exhibitors’

photographs range from

landscape and nature shots to ones

that illustrate Armenia’s biodiversity

and environmental challenges.

on Armenia proper as on the Armenian

life of the diaspora. So there is a

dark piece on being ground down and

alone in New York; another, in an appropriate

reggae beat, deals with the

racist harassment Armenians and

other Caucasians and Central Asians

suffer in Russian cities (“Moscow”).

Many families in Armenia survive on

remittances from abroad, and most

of those workers who send money to

their loved ones are in the Russian

Federation. In recent years, one sees

more and more often pairs of cops at

metro stations stopping and hassling

anyone who looks a shade darker than

the Slavic norm. The skinheads paint

swastikas and slogans like “Bei Khachei,

spasai Rossiyu” (Kill the Khachiks and

save Russia). This is a modification of

the pogromist motto of Tsarist days,

when the intended victim was not the

generic “chornozhopaya gnida” (a derogatory

term for dark-skinned persons)

from the southern and eastern lands,

but the “Zhid” (an epithet meaning

“Jew”). It’s not just harassment: an Armenian

teenager was knifed to death

at Pushkinskaya station in Moscow

– the equivalent of, say, Park Street on

the Boston T – and on the outskirts of

St. Petersburg, not far from where I often

stay, a 14-year-old Tajik schoolgirl

was murdered.

On his website, Gor lists multiple inspirations

and influences, including Narekatsi,

Charents, Edgar Allan Poe, Bob

Dylan, Elliott Smith, the Union of Soviet

Socialist Republics, and God. Though the

list is long, the artists cited tend to folk

rock and the bardic mode, more acrossthe-Channel

European chanteur than

U.S./U.K. kick-ass. Which is all right, so

one hears in songs like “Good Morning

Defeat” and “Song Unvisited” (yes,

they’re mostly downers) a little of the

The winning photographs will be

featured in “A Photographic Journey

of Armenia’s Natural Treasures”

beginning September 11,

2008. The exhibit will be displayed

guitar artistry of Phil Ochs and a little of

the Slavic folk beat of Russian bands like

Chizh – compare their rendition of the

loud Cossack desperado anthem, “Vot

pulya prosvistela” (“The bullet whistled

by and hit me in the side”), a live performance

of which can be enjoyed on

YouTube.

The hauntingly beautiful song “Walk

with me” (“Kaylir Indz Het”) begins,

“Kaylir indz het, hents hima, hima yev

vaghe, vaghe yev misht” (Walk with me

right now / Now and tomorrow / Tomorrow

and forever), and is followed by two

wordless beats to which I instantly sang

A-men! on first hearing (and second and

third, as you may verify if you see an aging

Armenologist bopping down Mass.

Ave., oblivious to everything but his

iPod and other people’s motorcycles). It

is a love song, as any Psalm, any prayer

must eventually be. In my translation:

Walk with me right now,

Now and tomorrow,

Tomorrow and forever.

Turn mine own until

The knock of Sir Death at my door.

At daybreak I will say to you

How till now it was for you I’d been

waiting –

And when that mocking shade,

That trickster, happiness,

Comes paying us a visit in the Spring,

Gladly we’ll fall for his trap.

Be one with me, to the north we’ll flee:

It’s always cool, nothing wicked there.

And in my house of clay we’ll be,

And have done with cheapened words.

At the break of day smile at me

And I shall know that you are near me,

That you are with me still.

If you are out of the habit of praying,

this is a good way to start back in, in

modern Eastern Armenian, perhaps be-

in ALMA’s Contemporary Art Gallery

through October 9, 2008.

Founded in 1971, ALMA is one of

the world’s largest repositories of

Armenian books and artifacts, in-

fore attempting the Book of Lamentation

of St. Grigor Narekatsi in grabar. Another

song, “Hallucinogen,” evokes that

different sort of synesthetic experience

of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” my

learned Harvard colleague Dr. Timothy

Leary considered religious as well:

The notes of this song have a scent;

Its melody, a taste in the vortex

Where my music mixes:

Ringing telephone, you are blue

To my sight once again,

Visible as the wind stands still

And flashes me a smile.

Paradise unknown, chromatic hell:

Slowly did I visit the blink of an eye, a

century –

Transparent cage, there’s no way out.

You can’t return back down

Those everlasting, multicolored hours.

There’s nothing to lean on

And never was.

Insubstantial clouds the shape of parachutes

Enfolding convey me above

To a place beyond pain and astonishment:

Impatiently I looked on

And in spectral lightness

Palpated the nerves on my skull

That had burst into flame.

One recalls the reveries of Yeghishe

Charents, in which time stands still.

And all of this is rock and roll the way it

should be, full of poetry and the depth

of the long tradition, as passionate and

despairing as King Lear’s cry, music that

you want to become the soundtrack of

your life. f

connect:

gormusic.com

ALMA and ATP announce exhibit of photo

contest winners

“Summer Time” by Hrair Khatcherian.

cluding heirlooms. ALMA has grown

into a major center for Armenian

studies and the preservation of the

Armenian heritage. The Armenian

Museum of America, a subdivision

of ALMA, organizes various exhibits

as well as lectures and presentations.

Established in 1994, ATP, a nonprofit

organization based in Watertown

and Yerevan, has conducted

numerous environmental projects

in Armenia’s impoverished and deforested

zones. ATP works on three

major program initiatives: planting

trees at urban and rural sites; environmental

education and advocacy;

and community socio-economic development

and poverty reduction. f

connect:

almainc.org

armeniatree.org

Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008 C3


A powerful mind recreates the lives of two

powerful icons through film

Nouritza Matossian on

Gorky and Dink

by Adrineh

Gregorian

When you stand in front of the painting

“One Year the Milkweed” (1944), you can’t

help but become completely enraptured

in its rage and lyricism. To think that

once Arshile Gorky stood at the same distance

from this same painting. What was

he thinking, you may ask? What was he

feeling? What compelled him to push the

boundaries on this canvas and become a

powerhouse of modern American art?

One can’t help ponder these questions.

Arshile Gorky. Genocide survivor. Artist.

Tortured mind.

Anyone who has heard the story of

the Armenian Genocide can understand.

Anyone who is Armenian can

relate. Here is a man whose thoughts

were plagued by tragedy – whose talent

turned him into a master artist. Here is

a man who told the story of Armenians

with each stroke of his paintbrush.

Sixteen-year-old Nouritza Matossian

understood the power of a Gorky the

first time she saw one of his paintings

at the Tate Gallery. Much like the thousands

of patrons who currently pass

through the halls of Washington, D.C.’s

National Gallery, which houses the famous

“The Artist and His Mother,” Nouritza

felt the rapture as well as the macabre

undertones in Gorky’s poignant

paintings, without knowing he was

Armenian. There is more to this story,

Nouritza thought, and set out to find

the astonishing truth.

Gorky’s paintings are defined by ambiguity.

They speak of jewel color and

capriciousness, and to the untrained eye

they may even be defined as playful. But

those who know his story would see the

taut whiplash line of Armenian sculptors

and miniaturists behind the kaleidoscope

of color – you would feel both

the ecstatic joy of a strong temperament

and the grief that resided deep inside

the artist, one who has experienced the

pain of genocide first-hand.

Nouritza has dedicated much of her

career to revealing the history of Gorky.

With her book, Black Angel: A Life of Arshile

Gorky, she has provided a glimpse

into the artist’s mind and soul. With her

one-woman show, she has reincarnated

the four women who were the most influential

in his life: the mother, the sister,

the sweetheart, and the wife. Nouritza’s

story, along with Gorky’s, was played

out on the big screen via the character of

Ani in Atom Egoyan’s Ararat. In a sense,

through Gorky, Nouritza has realized

the artist within her soul.

A portrait, “My Sister Akabi,” National Gallery of Art, Washington. Abstraction.

Nouritza as Shushanig, a photo from Nouritza’s one-woman show.

A chronicle of Hrant Dink’s

last years

Later in life, Nouritza met another great

Armenian figure, the late Hrant Dink.

They met in 2003, when Nouritza was

lecturing in Turkey. Like two illuminated

spirits, they hit it off immediately. “He

was an extraordinarily open, democratic,

cool guy. He was very clued up,” she says.

Nouritza knew that Dink’s passion,

perseverance, and kinetic energy needed

to be turned into a film. And so she

turned on her video camera and began

the private interview. “I was using my

camera as a diary,” she says. “I just want-

Nouritza Matossian’s book, Black Angel.

ed to capture every word he said and see

what he said… I just felt that there was

something very precious, very valuable.

They were my notes for the film.”

Dink and Nouritza met a handful of

times throughout a period of four years.

Though Dink suspected his life was

threatened, he courageously persisted in

his cause. After his assassination in January

2007, Nouritza transformed their

informal conversations into a 14-minute

documentary that was shown as a tribute

after 40 days from his death. “I just wanted

to give him back to his family, if I possibly

can, the people who loved him, and

those who never knew him,” she says.

Recently Nouritza extended the short

film into a feature documentary, Heart

of Two Nations: Hrant Dink, which premieres

at the 2008 Golden Apricot Film

Festival in Yerevan this month.

Through the film, the viewer gets a real

sense of the true nature of Dink. The

C4 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008


Cover of Portraits of Hope.

footage is raw and uncontrived, as it was

never meant to be used in the final film

– Nouritza decided to use the footage

she had, “Like guerrilla filmmaking, just

to show people who he was and what

kind of man he was,” she says. “And to

make him more present to them rather

then have people talk about him.”

Nouritza’s film is arguably the most

intimate portrait of Dink. “Because he’s

just really talking to a friend with a tiny

camera, nobody else in the room, and

he’s pouring his heart out,” she says.

“Especially in the last interview, which

is after he was sentenced to prison and

started getting death threats.”

At the end of the film, Dink actually

talks about his own death. Nouritza recalls

him saying, “If I go, I’m not going

to leave quietly like the others went

before me. When I go, this country will

shake to its foundations.”

“I am very excited by the invitation

to Armenia to show my film on Hrant

Dink,” says Nouritza. “Also to visit the

Cafesjian Center for the Arts, a new

cultural center for Armenia. They will

be having a Gorky exhibit in September-

October and asked to screen a film of my

one-woman show. The center is going to

be a huge encouragement for the many

fantastic artists in Armenia, as well as

a boost for the general public. I believe

Mr. Cafesjian is providing Armenia with

a power station for modern art.”

A new documentary on Gorky

Currently Nouritza is working on The Art

of Arshile Gorky: A Survivor’s Passion, a

documentary being produced in partnership

with The Tate Modern. “I want to tell

the story of his life through his paintings

because his paintings are autobiographical,”

says Nouritza. “When I wrote the

book, I saw the film in my head.”

She is also working closely with Michael

Taylor, the curator of the Philadelphia

Museum of Art, to premiere a retrospective

of Gorky’s career. In addition,

Taylor has invited Nouritza to perform

her one-woman show in Philadelphia at

the time the exhibition opens there, in

fall 2009. Subsequently the exhibition

and one-woman show will be presented

at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary

Art, in early 2010, followed by a

turn at the Tate Gallery in London.

“I have to say that ever since I’ve been

obsessed with Gorky, I’ve always wanted

to make a film about him,” Nouritza says.

“We are making a film which will tell the

amazing story of his life. It is a classic

The Liver is the Cockscomb, Allbright-Knox, Buffalo Gallery

immigrant story of an obscure refugee

who becomes a great American icon.”

Now people have accepted the fact that

Gorky was Armenian. But when Nouritza

first started her research over 30

years ago, Gorky was generally thought

to be Georgian or Russian. “[At the time]

I did all the research and found out his

Armenian background, there was a great

deal of Gorky’s background, of his life,

that wasn’t known – [for instance,] the

fact that he was involved in the defense

of Van (which is something his sister

told me). The more I studied him, the

more I realized how deeply he was traumatized,”

Nouritza says.

Nouritza’s research unfolds the reasons

that Gorky had to change his name

from Manoug Adoian and put his Armenian

past behind him. Like most immigrants

at the time, he rapidly transformed

his identity so as not to be stigmatized

as “a starving Armenian.”

“This is one of the greatest stories of

any great artist,” says Nouritza. Gorky

survived the Genocide, lived through

World War I and II, and still managed to

become one of America’s greatest modern

painters, whose paintings hang side

by side with Picasso’s, Warhol’s, Liechtenstein’s,

and Pollack’s in every major

museum across the globe.

“There has never been a modern artist

with a history like Gorky’s,” Nouritza

says. “He overcame his trauma to paint

these extraordinarily beautiful, extremely

modern, cutting-edge works. He was

the person pulling the New York artists

into the future. [He was] helping to push

forward this movement of abstract expressionism,

which allowed him to express

his deepest feelings, memories.”

“A lot of his work is based on the colors

and forms of illuminated manuscripts,

which he saw as a young boy,” she adds.

“The colors of the Van region, the church

of Akhtamar – all of that is Gorky’s

background, that’s the soil from which

he sprang, that’s what I want to show.

His lost paradise!”

“I would love to film Armenia and to

show how his paintings relate to this ancient

culture that he came from,” Nou-

Hrant Dink. Photo: Murat Turemis. A self portrait sketch by Gorky

Nouritza Matossian and Hrant Dink at a press conference in London.

ritza continues. “I want to put the two

halves of Gorky together again.”

Like a secret earthquake, Gorky’s

paintings are imperiled by the theme

of abandonment brought on by genocide.

Abandonment also motivated his

suicide. Today, the Armenian Genocide

is as relevant as it was in 1915. There

are ethnic groups around the world that

face the same risk as the Armenians did

a century ago. People are being ripped

away from their homelands. The feeling

of not belonging persists. How do they

deal with it? Gorky dealt with it through

his paintings. He redeemed himself

through art. In the process, he created

a new way of painting, which he then

passed on to future artists.

“I just want to give him back to the Armenians,

for all the world to understand

him, because he’s one of the greatest artists

of all time,” Nouritza says. f

Black Angel: A Life of Arshile Gorky by

Nouritza Matossian (New York: Overlook

Press, 2000).

connect:

arshile-gorky.com

nouritza.com

gaiff.am

Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008 C5


Anita Vogel: Network correspondent

by Jo Nelsen

“I’m five feet from Bill Clinton. He’s either

going to brush by me or take my question,”

Anita Vogel describes the scene.

She’s on location in a noisy Vegas casino

where Mr. Clinton made a surprise visit.

She’s been warned he’s not taking questions,

and security pushes her away. “It

can be intimidating,” she admits. But the

petite Ms. Vogel elbows her way forward.

“What are they going to do, arrest me?”

she wonders. “I just felt intuitively that

Bill Clinton was not going to walk by a

live microphone.”

It was pandemonium, hordes swarming

around him. Fans shouted slogans

and waved political signs. Vogel circled

patiently, updating the anchor at the station,

cheerfully assessing her position.

Suddenly, when the timing was right,

she made her move, thrusting her arm

into the center of the crowd. The former

president turned. Eye contact. She had

him. Every question was addressed. He

commented on the caucus sites, possible

voter suppression, and the unfair advantage

given some. “Everyone should

have equal access,” he concluded.

Vogel tells me, “I don’t know whether

I’ll ever encounter as exciting an interview.

My Blackberry was exploding for

ten minutes afterwards!”

She ascribes her success to luck – stars

and planets aligning, talented anchors,

photographers, producers, and experts

in the control room. “It was a team effort,”

she says. “I just kept my eye on the

goal, as any good reporter would do.”

Vogel is quick to credit others, but I

watched the interplay, and believe me,

her success is due, in no small part, to

her own talent, courage, and persistence.

Behind the delicate exterior lies a feisty

spirit with the unwavering desire to get

to the truth. It’s not luck, but hard work

that has earned Anita Vogel the coveted

position she has held for the past six

and a half years: Los Angeles-based correspondent

for Fox News.

The glamour and grind

If you’ve ever thought the job of reporting

might be cushy, here’s the scoop.

Vogel’s out of bed at 5:10 and at the office

by 7. To catch up on the news she

reads 15 online newspapers – all before

an 8:30 meeting with co-workers in Los

Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle via

conference call. Then she pitches a story

to the bureau chief, and collaborates with

a producer to write it. Vogel mentioned

there’s support available from a research

database she called “the brain room,” and

while this assistance sounds appealing,

we know whose intelligence puts it all

together. Extreme versatility is required,

with stories ranging from American Idol

to America’s homeless, but by 4 o’clock

the story is ready for airing.

If there’s breaking news, Vogel is sent

out on assignment. Three packed suitcases

are always ready in the back of her

car: one with professional suits, another

with fire attire, and a third full of rain

gear for hurricane stories.

“Katrina was rough,” Vogel recalls

thoughtfully. “Conditions were the

worst I’d ever seen, and it’s the story

that’s made the biggest impact on me. I

just couldn’t believe it was happening in

the United States.”

The making of a reporter

From the start, Vogel has known exactly

what she wanted to do. Watching local

news on television at age 5 or 6, she remembers

thinking: “That is so cool. It’s

what I want to do. I could be good at

that.”

The University of Southern California

wasn’t a school she could afford, but it

was where she wanted to go (UCLA had

no journalism program at the time.) So,

she explained, she went ahead and got

a few scholarships, her mother helped

as much as she could, and she took out

student loans, confident she’d be able

to pay them back. Vogel graduated from

Anita reporting from the red carpet at the Grammy Awards.

USC in the late 1980s, with a bachelor of

arts degree in broadcast journalism and

political science, and finished paying off

student loans two months ago.

Left: Anita on the

job. Below: Anita on

the set at the Fox

Studios in New York.

Below left: Anita

on the job covering

the aftermath of

Hurricane Katrina in

New Orleans.

The professional journey

Out of college, at 23, she worked at ABC

News in Washington as a desk assistant

for This Week with David Brinkley – a

C6 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008


Anita and Carrie Underwood. Anita with her political science professor from USC, Dr Richard Dekmejian, photographed at the

Debutante Ball.

Anita at the Grammy Awards.

pretty good gig for starting out, and she

could have stayed and worked her way

up to becoming a producer. But Vogel

knew she wanted to be a reporter. For

that, she needed to find a job in a small

town. So she began sending out resume

tapes – hundreds of them, probably 500,

she said. She was mostly ignored, seldom

even received rejection letters, but she

kept the faith.

“I figured that one day someone

would call.” And one day someone did.

It was Erie, Pennsylvania. She was ecstatic:

“Yes, of course I’ll come for an

interview,” she said and hung up before

realizing she had no idea where

Erie, Pennsylvania was. She found

it on a map and spent the next two

years there. It was advertised as a parttime

position, and she was prepared

to waitress to supplement her income.

Upon arrival, it had become a full-time

job, and that made her doubly determined:

“I am getting this job,” she said

to herself. “It’s meant to be!” And so it

was. “Of course you never know when

you start if you can do it,” she admits.

But within the first few weeks she was

confident it was a challenge she could

handle.

Next, it was three years at a station

in Jackson, Florida. Off she went

from snow and cold to humidity and

Anita on the job covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

heat. Weather shock! And after that,

it was back to her beloved California.

She worked at KCRA-TV (NBC) in Sacramento,

where she covered the State

Legislature and the Governor’s Office.

“It was a great experience, and the people

were wonderful,” she says. Actually,

Vogel gave that same glowing assessment

to every single job she told me

about. The law of attraction at work

perhaps.

When she wanted to come back to

Los Angeles, Fox News had an opening.

Again, Vogel claims the stars and planets

aligned, and she was hired. “People

enjoy working there and it shows,” she

says. “It’s the best place to work. A

perfect job for me. I get to live in L.A.,

where I grew up, and report on networklevel

stories. I am lucky and blessed to

work there!”

Raised Armenian

Vogel’s mother, Mary, was born in New

York and has a New York accent, but her

Armenian grandmother lived with them

while Vogel was growing up in California.

There was no possibility of sneaking

home late or disobeying rules, Vogel says

with a grin. “I was raised Armenian!”

Vogel’s father, Sol, of East European

descent, passed away when she was 11

months old. Her mother’s family had es-

caped from the small village of Evereg,

Turkey, her grandmother’s father vowing:

“We’re not going to let them kill us.”

They plotted to give the impression of

converting to the Muslim religion. Vogel

emphasizes how difficult that would

have been for Armenians, the first nation

to officially accept Christianity, but

it saved them. Her grandmother’s brother

came to America in the early 1920s;

her grandmother and sister waited in

Cuba for citizenship.

Vogel’s mother wanted to raise her

and her brother, Mark, in California.

She had visited once and fallen in love

with it, so when Vogel was two years old,

the family moved from New York to Tarzana,

where she still makes her home.

“My mother is the guiding force of my

life,” Vogel says. “She worked as a banker,

an executive secretary, and earned a

degree from Pierce College while raising

two children and working to support

them. Armenians are survivors. We

don’t give up.”

Referring to the strength of the Armenian

community today, Vogel believes

that the Armenians’ focus on preserving

their culture, language, and history

is fueled by their near extinction. “I

am an American of Armenian descent…

American first,” Vogel says, “but I will do

everything I can to help the Armenian

community counter the negative effects

of history that affected my own family.”

She is a member of the Armenian

Professional Society and the Armenian

International Women’s Association.

Vogel made her first trip to Armenia

this month. She plans to visit the capital,

Yerevan, and is scheduled to speak

to students on the subject of Western

media at the Golden Apricot Film Festival.

I trust she has a fourth suitcase

ready for fun.

Making a difference

Does she want to be a reporter forever?

“I love the field of communications,”

she says, “but some day I might like

to teach, consult, mentor, or write a

book.” And probably one day she will.

She doesn’t wish to become an anchor,

though she’s happy to be a reporter who

can anchor.

She has won awards: that of the Pennsylvania

Association of Broadcasters for

Best Documentary, and she was part of

a team honored with an Edward R. Murrow

award and a Regional Emmy award

for Best Newscast. Regarding what is

most deeply satisfying about her job,

Vogel answers: “I hope some good comes

from the awareness I bring by putting a

spotlight on a story.” She tells me with

pride, “I am constantly amazed at how

many people come up to me, much later,

and recall a story. The level of remembering

the details is amazing.” And that

is her confirmation – someone who sees

the story, is touched, moved, or learns

something that will make a difference

in their lives.

She’ll keep healthy, she says. She’s a

runner, aspiring to a marathon. She believes

in the Golden Rule. “Try to be a

good person, non-judgmental” is how

she sums it up. And Anita Vogel is certainly

that. She is an inspiring role model,

with her feet on the ground and her

heart in her work, the healthy balance

of life and career evident in the radiance

she exudes.

She loves wine tasting, travel, friends,

family and concerts. One day she hopes

to marry and have children. With characteristic

optimism, she believes, “If it’s

meant to happen, it will yet.”

“Life is good” are her parting words.

What better news to report? What better

prize? f

Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008 C7


A reporter of truth, an advocate of justice

Ben Bagdikian continues

to fight against media

monopoly

by Alexandra Bezdikian

He is a small man, a well-dressed man

with boyish charm and an infectious enthusiasm

for life.

Yet despite his small frame and seemingly

shy disposition, 88-year-old Ben

Bagdikian is a colossus. A renowned

media critic, an award-winning journalist,

and the author of several industrychanging

books, he has been a reporter

of truth and an advocate of justice for

over six decades. With longstanding

positions at publications like the Providence

Journal, Columbia Journalism Review,

and the Washington Post, among

many others, Bagdikian is quite simply

a force to be reckoned with.

“I read his work in graduate school,

and it was just really seminal in shaping

my understanding of the foundational

values of journalism,” said Mother Jones

Editor-in-chief Monika Bauerlein. “He’s

also an archetype or a godfather to the

contemporary media critic in that he

was one of the first people to identify

the threat that media consolidation and

corporate control of media pose to independent

journalism.”

Not surprisingly, Mother Jones, an

acclaimed progressive publication, has

named its fellowship program after Bagdikian.

With an agenda that includes

cultivating a new cadre of smart and

fearless journalists within the context

of an independent media model, Bagdikian

fits right into the Mother Jones

modus operandi.

“The thing that makes him particularly

apt for the Mother Jones fellowship program

is that he is the man who literally

wrote the book on media monopoly,”

said Mother Jones president and publisher

Jay Harris. “Indie media generally,

and Mother Jones specifically, are

part of the antidote to monopolized,

homogenized, sanitized corporate media.

By naming our fellowship program

after Ben, I think it nicely complements

his classic critique with a program that

should help make the journalism future

brighter.”

Upon meeting Ben and Marlene

Bagdikian, first impressions teetered

somewhere between hopelessly unconventional

and slightly old-school. After

all, he was wearing a well-pressed, sky

blue and pink-striped button-up, delicately

tucked into his perfectly creased

khaki trousers, completing quite a mildmannered

outfit certainly befitting of

such a mild-mannered man.

She was charming and diplomatic, radiating

a certain ineffable elegance that

seemed to multiply when she was by his

side. He was born in Turkey, she in Austria.

Together, the Bagdikians were the

image of the American Dream.

It was only when Bagdikian enthusiastically

belted, “You’re Armenian! It’s

so good to meet you,” that first impressions

quickly dissipated. It was the typical

“ian” ending of Armenian last names

that tipped him off, and it was his genuine

delight to meet another Armenian

journalist that burst my first-impression

bubble completely. “Don’t judge me,” he

said with a smile. “I don’t speak Armenian

that well.” I promised I wouldn’t

dare.

As the three of us sat down in the ballroom

of Fort Mason’s Officers’ Club in

San Francisco, at a luncheon commemorating

Bagdikian’s legacy in journalism

and the naming of the Ben Bagdikian

Fellowship, it quickly became clear that

this man was a titan; he’s one of the

last living American storytellers of our

time. And if it were possible to look just

beyond the veil of the oddly stylish, redframed

glasses whimsically fastened to

the bridge of his nose, one could almost

see the stories of his past delicately flutter

by with each blink. And it was there,

in the ballroom of Fort Mason’s Officers’

Club, that the titan storyteller became

flesh and blood.

“I originally wanted to be a doctor,” he

revealed. “But my feet had better instincts

than my brain did… I became a

reporter and never went back.”

As we started talking about his

past, the good times and the bad, the

many awards given to him over the

years, and the various publications he

worked for since becoming a journalist

in 1941, the stories simply started to

seep out of him. It was as if he had to

get them out, exorcizing his personal

experiences onto a future generation

of storytellers, sprinkling bits of himself

throughout the greater tapestry of

American journalism. And he was filing

through the decades with Rolodex

efficiency.

“As one of my operating instincts,”

Bagdikian explained, “when writing

about a story that affected people, I

would read all of the authoritative books

and data that I could get, and then I

would live with someone in that group

that I was writing about. If I was writing

about poor farmers, I would go live with

them for a few weeks. If I was doing a

piece on warehouses, I would go live in a

warehouse.” He wasn’t joking.

He told me tales of working with the

poor in Appalachia, how exciting it was

to work during World War II and the

dawning of the atomic age, the Suez crisis

of ‘56, and about that one time he

lived in a flophouse on “skid row” in the

West End of Chicago.

Marlene shook her head with a sigh,

giving me a look that unmistakably said,

“Only this man could get away with these

antics, only this man.”

It was certainly obvious that Bagdikian

was hard-core. There’s no other

term for it. But it wasn’t just the complete

dedication he had to his career in

journalism, or his emphatic belief in

Ben Bagdikian. Photo:

Ed Homich, Mother

Jones.

the inherent importance of his work, or

even the way he spoke for the masses

of disenfranchised – living with them,

enduring “weeks of research and travel”

to give them a voice. Ben Bagdikian is

hard-core because as he spoke, I believed

him. I believed in the sincerity of his

words, and the passionate faith he had

in making this a better country worthy

of democracy. His style and charisma reflected

what journalism in America was

at one time – what was good and honorable

at one time.

Ben Bagdikian is dedicated to seeing it

made happen again, and he is willing to

work with a new generation of journalists

of equal passion. That is what makes

him hard-core, and that is what the future

of journalism aspires to become. f

C8 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008


Anne Bedian: inspiring on and off the screen

by Adrineh

Gregorian

There’s nothing that can stop a woman

who has joined the Navy at 17 and gotten

a tattoo of an anchor to prove to everyone

she was serious about her decision.

The Navy was the first stop for Anne

Bedian. “I was convinced I could do anything

I wanted to do,” she says. After a

stint in accounting, she opted for her

ultimate dream and Hollywood came

calling.

“I always knew I wanted to act,” she

says. “It gelled in my mind when I was

12 – not that I did anything about it. It

was something that was always calling

to me.”

Like most actors, Anne knew that her

preferred profession would pose some

undesirable obstacles. “I would rather

be unhappy, or temporarily unhappy,

‘cause I’m trying to follow my dream,

than [accept] long-term unhappiness

because I never really tried,” she notes.

Words to live by.

Anne pursued acting while maintaining

her job as an accountant. After landing

small roles in her native Canada,

she knew it was time to begin a proper

training regime for acting: the Meisner

technique. “I was adamant on keeping

my day job and doing accounting until

I was ready to give it up to go full force,”

she recalls. “Then the people I work for

said, ‘You’re on a show in Canada. We

think you can stop coming to work.”

The show was a sci-fi animated show

in Canada, followed by an NBC pilot, and

then a national ad campaign for Claritin.

Anne moved to New York in the summer

of 2004 to continue her Meisner

training. She left Canada just as her career

was building momentum. “I used it

as a springboard to move to New York,”

she says. Nothing was going to stop her

from pursuing her dreams.

“I really think that everything I’ve

done so far was helping build discipline

and all my layers as an actor from life

experiences,” Anne says. “That discipline

as a solider has made me the actor

I am today. I have a side to me that

likes to make big changes, because it’s

possible, right? You don’t want to limit

yourself in life.”

Anne says the acting profession has

required a lot of patience. “It’s easy to

call yourself an actor when you’re working

and people are hiring you,” she explains.

“The real test is to keep calling

yourself an actor when no one is hiring

you. That’s when you’re really doing the

work of an actor, preparing, doing your

training.”

“It’s been an amazing journey and it

kind of feels like a ladder and I keep on

climbing up and up,” adds Anne, who

believes that every role she’s gotten has

led her to a better one.

Currently Anne can be seen in primetime

television hit shows such as CSI:

Crime Scene Investigation, Law and Order,

Anne Bedian.

The Unit, The Closer, and Lost. But it’s

Anne’s newest role, as Marina the Armenian

psychic, on the CBS pilot The Ex List

that’s getting all the buzz.

The Ex List is the American version

of a hit show in Israel. The new version

stars Elizabeth Reaser as Bella, a

single girl who stumbles upon a psychic,

Marina, who tells her she has a year

to get married. If she doesn’t get married

within a year, she never will. And

here’s the kicker: she already knows the

Above: Anne Bedian

with Elizabeth Reaser

on the set of The Ex

List.

Left: Anne Bedian as

Marina, the Armenian

psychic.

guy. As the story line progresses and

Bella retraces her past, she seeks guidance

from Marina.

The show’s writers based Marina’s

character on a real-life Armenian woman.

Anne describes Marina as “Armenian

fabulous,” a character that brings comic

relief to the show.

As Anne read the script, she imagined

this woman as the real deal. According

to Anne, Marina reads coffee cups,

hangs out at the MAC make-up counter

at the mall, and shows up to the gym

with big earrings and a clutch purse.

“She’s a tough character with a really big

heart,” she says.

Even though Marina doesn’t listen to

heavy metal, Anne says she would have

a poster of System of a Down on the

wall, right next to a picture of David of

Sassoon.

Anne’s unique look has allowed her to

portray a wide range of characters. “It’s

never boring,” she says. “I can go from

Israeli to Greek to Italian. It’s very representative

of the United States because

it has so many different cultural backgrounds

and today the American networks

are reflecting that,” says Anne.

Maybe ten years ago television executives

would have been reluctant

to feature an Armenian character in a

prime-time show. Now, however, with

characters like Marina, the future looks

promising.

The Ex List will begin airing in September

on CBS. f

Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008 C9

connect

cbs.com


Program Grid 21 – 27 July

USArmenia is a 24-hour broadcasting station specializing in the full spectrum of HD-quality Armenian

programming.

Located in Burbank’s famed media district, our headquarters comprise 15,000 square feet of studio

space and production facilities, in addition to 40,000 square feet of offices.

Our programs are broadcast locally on Charter Cable’s Channel 286, and nationwide on Global Satellite

117 and through the Dish Network, to a viewership of over 100,000 households.

Our broadcast lineup consists of original programming produced both locally and in Armenia. It

includes local, national, and international news, news feeds from Armenia four times a day, as well as a

EST PST

22:00 1:00

23:00 2:00

23:30 2:30

0:00 3:00

0:30 3:30

1:00 4:00

1:30 4:30

2:00 5:00

2:30 5:30

3:30 6:30

4:00 7:00

4:30 7:30

5:30 8:30

6:00 9:00

6:30 9:30

7:00 10:00

7:30 10:30

8:00 11:00

8:30 11:30

9:00 12:00

9:30 12:30

10:30 13:30

11:30 14:30

12:00 15:00

12:30 15:30

13:30 16:30

14:00 17:00

14:30 17:30

15:00 18:00

16:00 19:00

16:30 19:30

17:00 20:00

17:30 20:30

18:00 21:00

18:30 21:30

19:00 22:00

19:30 22:30

20:00 23:00

20:30 23:30

21:30 24:30

broad range of proprietary talk shows, soap operas, reality shows, documentaries, and feature films.

USArmenia holds exclusive rights to the Hay Film Library, a collection of hundreds of Armenian- and

Russian-language movies released since 1937. To date, more than 550 titles in the collection have been

restored and upgraded to HD quality.

USArmenia works in conjunction with the Armenian Reporter, an independent English-language weekly

newspaper with a circulation of 35,000 across the United States.

For timely and highest-standard local and national news coverage, USArmenia maintains a mobile HD-

production unit in Southern California and a reporting team in Washington

21 July 22 July 23 July 24 July 25 July 26 July

Monday TuESday WEdnESday ThurSday Friday SaTurday

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner Serial

Discovery

My Big Fat Arm. Wedding

Express

Weekend News

Bernard Show

Cool Program

Tele Kitchen

The Armenian

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Discovery

My Big Fat Arm. Wedding

Express

YO YO

Weekend News

CLONE Serial

Bernard Show

Weekend News

Tele Kitchen

The Armenian

YO YO

Express

News

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Cool Program

News

Discovery

My Big Fat Arm. Wedding

Bernard

Show

Bari Luys

News

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner Serial

Insurance

Forum

Express

News

Bernard Show

Cool Program

Tele Kitchen

Bari Luys

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Insurance

Forum

Express

YO YO

News

CLONE Serial

Bernard Show

News

Tele Kitchen

Bari Luys

YO YO

Express

News

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Cool Program

News

Insurance

Forum

Bernard

Show

Bari Luys

News

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner Serial

Discovery

My Big Fat Arm. Wedding

Express

News

Bernard Show

Cool Program

Tele Kitchen

Bari Luys

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Discovery

My Big Fat Arm. Wedding

Express

YO YO

News

CLONE Serial

Bernard Show

News

Tele Kitchen

Bari Luys

YO YO

Express

News

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Cool Program

News

Discovery

My Big Fat Arm. Wedding

Bernard

Show

Bari Luys

News

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner Serial

Insurance

Forum

Express

News

Bernard Show

Cool Program

Tele Kitchen

Bari Luys

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Insurance

Forum

Express

YO YO

News

CLONE Serial

Bernard Show

News

Tele Kitchen

Bari Luys

YO YO

Express

News

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Cool Program

News

Insurance

Forum

Bernard

Show

Bari Luys

News

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner Serial

Discovery

My Big Fat Arm. Wedding

Express

News

Bernard Show

Cool Program

Tele Kitchen

Bari Luys

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Discovery

My Big Fat Arm. Wedding

Express

YO YO

News

CLONE Serial

Bernard Show

News

Tele Kitchen

Bari Luys

YO YO

Express

News

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner

Serial

Cool Program

News

Discovery

My Big Fat Arm. Wedding

Bernard

Show

Bari Luys

News

The Beautified Project rockers sing about pain

First English-language

album released in

Armenia

by Betty

Panossian-

Ter

Sarkissian

In April 2007, when the Armenian Reporter

first featured the acoustic rock band

The Beautified Project, it was a newcomer

to the Armenian music scene. Its founder

and frontman, Andre Simonian, had been

in Armenia for only a few months and

was considering a move to his homeland.

A year later, the band, now reduced to

three of its five original members – Simonian,

Armen Shahverdian, and Arlen

Shahverdian – is already a factor in making

the rock scene in Armenia move forward.

What is more, The Beautified Project

is aspiring to become the band that

represents rock music in Armenia.

behind the happy mask…

In April this year, The Beautified Project

released its second record, behind the

happy mask… It is the first English-only

rock album recorded and released in

Armenia. The band’s debut album, Serenades

for Insanity, was released in 2006,

in London, where The Beautified Project

was launched in 2004 by Simonian.

The eight songs on the new CD deal with

issues hidden behind the happy mask that

people wear every single day. True to the

band’s signature sound, the latest album,

too, features genuine modern acoustic

rock, with no Armenian or Middle Eastern

elements. “We have tried to make a

world-class album representing pure rock

in Armenia,” Simonian explains.

The new album tends toward the

Gothic. While the music and lyrics

are still very dark, the rock element is

stronger than ever. “There is a kind of

positive energy in this album, but it exists

in the very dark,” Simonian says.

Every song on behind the happy mask…

contains the word “pain,” “because pain is

what we are born of, pain is what we live

with and go through every day,” Simonian

says. “And one day life and pain, joined together

hand in hand, will decide to stop!”

All the lyrics of the new album were

written by Simonian, and the music was

composed and arranged by all members

of the band.

A piano burns in the snow

One of the songs featured in behind the

happy mask…, “Angel,” a hit with fans

even before its release on CD, was turned

into a snowy video clip.

Recording a video in the snow was

something Simonian had always wanted

to do. “I just liked the concept of

snow and some dark angel approaching,”

he explains.

The clip features a girl, “the falling

angel,” who comes to find the band

playing in the snow. While the clip was

being shot, the temperature at the location,

near Lake Sevan, was freezing cold,

at -25 degrees Centigrade. However, the

first 20 seconds of the video were filmed

in Sweden. “We were looking for a spe-

CLONE Serial

Unlucky Happiness

Harevaner Serial

Insurance

Forum

Express

News

Bernard Show

TV Duel

Bari Luys

Fathers &

Sons

A Drop of Honey

Armenia Diaspora

Dar

YO YO

News

CLONE Serial

Dancing With The Stars

News

Tele Kitchen

Bari Luys

YO YO

Fathers &

Sons

CLONE Serial

TV Duel

Dar

News

Film Story

+

Armenian

Movie

The Armenian

News

27 July

Sunday

CLONE Serial

News

Film Story +

Armenian

Movie

TV Duel

The Armenian

Fathers &

Sons

A Drop of Honey

Armenia Diaspora

Dar

YO YO

News

CLONE Serial

Dancing With The Stars

News

Tele Kitchen

The Armenian

YO YO

Fathers &

Sons

CLONE Serial

TV Duel

Dar

Weekend News

PS Club

Blef

Cool Program

Super Duet

The Armenian

Weekend News

Cover of the

Beautified Project’s

latest album.

cific dark scene with gravestones, and

that kind of Gothic feeling we could not

find in Armenia,” Simonian explains.

Filming the clip was a great experience

for the band. The odd and fun part began

with dragging an old piano into the snow

and setting it on fire. A computer-generated

piano set on fire would have cost the

band a lot more money, as they had bought

that piano really cheap. “At first, I felt guilty

about burning a piano, but then I made

sure nobody wanted to play on it in the

house I bought it from,” Simonian recalls.

Continued on page C11 m

C10 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008


Watch Armenia TV on Dish Network. To get a dish and subscribe, call 1-888-284-7116 toll free.

Satellite Broadcast Program Grid

21 – 27 July

21 July 22 July 23 July

Monday TuESday WEdnESday

EST PST

4:30 7:30 News in

Armenian

4:55 7:55 Good

Morning,Armenians

6:10 9:10 PS Club

6:45 9:45 Teleduel

7:30 10:30 Bernard Show

8:45 11:45 Cool program

9:00 12:00 News in

Armenian

9:20 12:20 A Drop of

Honey

9:50 12:50 Yo-Yo

10:00 13:00 Neighbours-

Serial

10:45 13:45 Telekitchen

11:05 14:05 Fathers and

Sons

12:00 15:00 News in

Armenian

12:25 15:25 Italian Serial

13:15 16:15 Blitz

13:35 16:35 Hit Music

14:00 17:00 In the World

of Books

14:20 17:20 Chameleon-

Serial

15:00 18:00 News in

Armenian

15:25 18:25 Through the

traces of past

16:05 19:05 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

16:45 19:45 As a wave-

Serial

17:30 20:30 My Big, Fat

Armenian Wedding

18:00 21:00 News in

Armenian

18:25 21:25 Unhappy

Happiness - Serial

19:10 22:10 The value of

life-Serial

19:45 22:45 Bernard Show

21:00 0:00 News in

Armenian

21:25 0:25 The Armenian

Film

23:30 2:30 Telekitchen

0:05 3:05 Teleduel

0:50 3:50 Yo-Yo

1:15 4:15 Hit Music

1:40 4:40 Blitz

2:00 5:00 Italian Serial

2:50 5:50 In the World

of Books

3:10 6:10 Chameleon-

Serial

3:55 6:55 Through the

traces of past

EST PST

4:30 7:30 News in

Armenian

4:55 7:55 Good

Morning,Armenians

6:20 9:20 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

7:00 10:00 My Big, Fat

Armenian Wedding

7:30 10:30 Bernard Show

8:45 11:45 The Armenian

Cartoon

9:00 12:00 News in

Armenian

9:25 12:25 The value of

life-Serial

10:00 13:00 Unhappy

Happiness - Serial

10:45 13:45 Telekitchen

11:15 14:15 As a wave-Serial

12:00 15:00 News in

Armenian

12:25 15:25 Italian Serial

13:15 16:15 Blitz

13:35 16:35 Hit Music

14:00 17:00 Armenian

Diaspora

14:20 17:20 Chameleon-

Serial

15:00 18:00 News in

Armenian

15:25 18:25 Express

15:45 18:45 The Armenian

film-Bumerang

16:05 19:05 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

16:45 19:45 As a wave-

Serial

17:30 20:30 My Big, Fat

Armenian Wedding

18:00 21:00 News in

Armenian

18:25 21:25 Unhappy

Happiness - Serial

19:10 22:10 The value of

life-Serial

19:45 22:45 Bernard Show

21:00 0:00 News in

Armenian

21:25 0:25 Mosfilm

22:30 1:30 Fathers and

sons

23:30 2:30 Telekitchen

0:05 3:05 Yerevan Time

0:30 3:30 PS Club

0:55 3:55 Armenian

Diaspora

1:15 4:15 Hit Music

1:40 4:40 Blitz

2:00 5:00 Italian Serial

2:50 5:50 The Armenian

Cartoon

3:10 6:10 Chameleon-

Serial

3:55 6:55 Express

Inspired by Hamlet

The word “Beautified” has been known

to raise eyebrows. As the band’s godfather,

Simonian says he loves it when

fans and journalists ask him about

the origins of the name “The Beautified

Project.” “I love the kinds of mystic

words that do not make any factual

sense,” he says. “I like titles that are not

very clear and people can have different

takes on them.”

“In Armenia a lot of people make

the mistake of calling us ‘The Beautiful

Project,’” Simonian notes, adding

that he is a big Shakespeare

fan and that his inspiration for the

band’s name comes from Hamlet.

“When Hamlet was in the first stages

of going mad and was still enjoying

pretending to be mad, he called

his fiancée ‘my soul’s idol, the most

beautified Ophelia.’ Nobody knows

what he really meant by that and

EST PST

4:30 7:30 News in

Armenian

4:55 7:55 Good

Morning,Armenians

6:20 9:20 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

7:00 10:00 My Big, Fat

Armenian Wedding

7:30 10:30 Bernard Show

8:45 11:45 Cool sketches

9:00 12:00 News in

Armenian

9:25 12:25 The value of

life-Serial

10:00 13:00 Unhappy

Happiness - Serial

10:45 13:45 Telekitchen

11:15 14:15 As a wave-

Serial

12:00 15:00 News in

Armenian

12:25 15:25 Italian Serial

13:15 16:15 Blitz

13:35 16:35 Hit Music

14:00 17:00 The Century

14:20 17:20 Chameleon-

Serial

15:00 18:00 News in

Armenian

15:25 18:25 Express

15:45 18:45 A Drop of

Honey

16:05 19:05 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

16:45 19:45 As a wave-

Serial

17:30 20:30 My Big, Fat

Armenian Wedding

18:00 21:00 News in

Armenian

18:25 21:25 Unhappy

Happiness - Serial

19:10 22:10 The value of

life-Serial

19:45 22:45 Bernard Show

21:00 0:00 News in

Armenian

21:25 0:25 Fathers and

sons

22:25 1:25 Through the

traces of past

22:55 1:55 Concert

23:30 2:30 Telekitchen

0:05 3:05 The Century

0:30 3:30 Discovery

1:15 4:15 Hit Music

1:40 4:40 Blitz

2:00 5:00 Italian Serial

2:50 5:50 A Drop of

Honey

3:10 6:10 Chameleon-

Serial

3:55 6:55 Express

there are still major debates going

on about the meaning of this word.”

Simonian has given the word a meaning

of his own, though. “In a world where

everything goes towards pale, you create

a song, music, so you beautify your

art towards a given direction, a channel,

and make it further beautiful, attach to

it even more sense, and give it back to

people who can relate to it,” he says.

Simonian claims that The Beautified

Project remains a noncommercial band,

with its expenses covered by the band

members themselves. “We are lucky to

have Arvin Kocharian as our manager,

our designer, and photographer,” Simonian

adds.

In the past year, The Beautified Project

worked on broadening its fan base

in Armenia. In May this year, behind

the happy mask… was launched with a

sold-out party at Avant-garde Folk Music

Club in Yerevan.

As for upcoming projects, The Beautified

Project is considering making a vid-

24 July 25 July 26 July 27 July

ThurSday Friday SaTurday Sunday

EST PST

4:30 7:30 News in

Armenian

4:55 7:55 Good

Morning,Armenians

6:20 9:20 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

7:00 10:00 My Big, Fat

Armenian Wedding

7:30 10:30 Bernard Show

8:45 11:45 The Armenian

Film

9:00 12:00 News in

Armenian

9:25 12:25 The value of

life-Serial

10:00 13:00 Unhappy

Happiness - Serial

10:45 13:45 Telekitchen

11:15 14:15 As a wave-Serial

12:00 15:00 News in

Armenian

12:25 15:25 Italian Serial

13:15 16:15 Blitz

13:35 16:35 Hit Music

14:00 17:00 Cool program

14:20 17:20 Chameleon-

Serial

15:00 18:00 News in

Armenian

15:25 18:25 Teleduel

16:05 19:05 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

16:45 19:45 As a wave-

Serial

17:30 20:30 Armenian

Diaspora

18:00 21:00 News in

Armenian

18:25 21:25 Unhappy

Happiness - Serial

19:10 22:10 Captives of

fate-Serial

19:45 22:45 Bernard Show

21:00 0:00 News in

Armenian

21:25 0:25 In the World

of Books

21:50 0:50 A Drop of

Honey

22:15 1:15 Health

Program

22:45 1:45 Yo-Yo

23:00 2:00 Armenian

Diaspora

23:30 2:30 Telekitchen

0:05 3:05 Yerevan Time

0:35 3:35 Teleduel

1:15 4:15 Hit Music

1:40 4:40 Blitz

2:00 5:00 Italian Serial

2:50 5:50 Cool program

3:10 6:10 Chameleon-

Serial

3:55 6:55 Express

EST PST

4:30 7:30 News in

Armenian

4:55 7:55 Good

Morning,Armenians

6:20 9:20 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

7:00 10:00 Hit Music

7:30 10:30 Bernard Show

9:00 12:00 News in

Armenian

9:25 12:25 Bernard Show

10:00 13:00 Unhappy

Happiness - Serial

10:45 13:45 Captives of

fate-Serial

11:15 14:15 As a wave-

Serial

12:00 15:00 News in

Armenian

12:25 15:25 Italian Serial

13:15 16:15 Blitz

13:30 16:30 Hit Music

13:50 16:50 Health

Program

14:20 17:20 Chameleon-

Serial

15:00 18:00 News in

Armenian

15:25 18:25 Express

15:45 18:45 PS Club

16:05 19:05 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

16:45 19:45 As a wave-

Serial

17:30 20:30 A Drop of

Honey

18:00 21:00 News in

Armenian

18:25 21:25 Neighbours-

Serial

19:10 22:10 Captives of

fate-Serial

19:45 22:45 Bernard Show

21:00 0:00 News in

Armenian

21:25 0:25 Mosfilm

23:20 2:20 Fathers and

sons

0:25 3:25 Health

Program

0:55 3:55 The Century

1:15 4:15 Hit Music

1:40 4:40 Blitz

2:00 5:00 Italian Serial

2:50 5:50 Cool sketches

3:10 6:10 Chameleon-

Serial

3:55 6:55 Express

The Beautified Project rockers sing about pain

n Continued from page C10

eo clip for “Me and My Despair,” another

song from the new album. Throughout

this summer, the band will give several

concerts and have guest appearances at

various events. Currently the band is

EST PST

4:30 7:30 News in

Armenian

4:55 7:55 Mosfilm

6:20 9:20 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

7:00 10:00 A Drop of

Honey

7:35 10:35 PS Club

8:10 11:10 The Armenian

film-Bumerang

9:00 12:00 News in

Armenian

9:25 12:25 Captives of

fate-Serial

10:00 13:00 Neighbours-

Serial

10:45 13:45 Telekitchen

11:15 14:15 As a wave-

Serial

12:00 15:00 Italian Serial

12:50 15:50 Unhappy

Happiness - Serial

15:00 18:00 Chameleon-

Serial

15:40 18:40 Through the

traces of past

16:05 19:05 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

16:45 19:45 As a wave-

Serial

17:40 20:40 Cool Program

18:00 21:00 VOA(The Voice

of America)

18:20 21:20 Neighbours-

Serial

19:05 22:05 Captives of

fate-Serial

19:40 22:40 Fathers and

Sons

20:40 23:40 The Armenian

film

22:00 1:00 News in

Armenian

22:30 1:30 Teleduel

22:15 1:15 Cool sketches

23:30 2:30 Telekitchen

0:05 3:05 A Drop of

Honey

0:55 3:55 In the World

of Books

1:15 4:15 Hit Music

1:40 4:40 Blitz

2:00 5:00 Italian Serial

2:50 5:50 The Armenian

Cartoon

3:05 6:05 Chameleon-

Serial

3:50 6:50 Through the

traces of past

EST PST

4:30 7:30 The Armenian

Film

6:00 9:00 VOA(The Voice

of America)

6:20 9:20 Cobras and

Lizards-Serial

7:00 10:00 Fathers and

Sons

8:00 11:00 Cool Program

8:20 11:20 A Drop of

Honey

8:55 11:55 Yerevan Time

9:20 12:20 Captives of

fate-Serial

10:00 13:00 Neighbours-

Serial

10:45 13:45 Armenian

Diaspora

11:15 14:15 As a wave-

Serial

12:05 15:05 The Century

12:25 15:25 Health

Program

13:00 16:00 My Big, Fat

Armenian Wedding

14:10 17:10 Blitz

14:30 17:30 Yo-Yo

14:55 17:55 Captives of

fate-Serial

16:40 19:40 A Drop of

Honey

17:00 20:00 The Armenian

film/Bumerang

17:25 20:25 PS Club

18:00 21:00 VOA(The Voice

of America)

18:20 21:20 Neighbours-

Serial

19:00 22:00 Teleduel

19:45 22:45 The value of

life-Serial

21:00 0:00 News in

Armenian

21:30 0:30 Health

Program

22:00 1:00 Concert

23:00 2:00 Yerevan Time

23:25 2:25 Armenia-

Diaspora

0:00 3:00 VOA(The Voice

of America)

0:30 3:30 The Century

0:55 3:55 Yo-Yo

1:15 4:15 Hit Music

1:40 4:40 Blitz

2:00 5:00 Discovery

2:30 5:30 Mosfilm

4:00 7:00 The Armenian

film/Bumerang

working to realize its goal of performing

in the United States. f

connect:

thebeautified.com

Band members

Andre Simonian,

Armen and Arlen

Shahverdian on the

back cover of their

album.

Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008 C11


C12 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture July 19, 2008

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines