Staging Sassoun

Memory and Music Video in Post-Soviet Armenia

in Social Analysis
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  • 1 Central European University hmadriaans@gmail.com
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Abstract

This article examines the production of patriotic music videos in post-Soviet Armenia. In particular, it deals with music videos dedicated to the heritage of Sassoun, a mountainous region in present-day Turkey that was famous for its resistance in the era leading up to the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The role of music videos in transmitting embodied memories of the lost homeland to new generations is shown to problematize Paul Connerton’s claim that media saturation in modernity promotes cultural amnesia. A comparison of the Sassoun music videos with media artifacts endorsed in the recent inscription of Armenia’s national epic Daredevils of Sassoun on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity demonstrates how the interplay between mediatization and institutionalization facilitates the recollection of embodied memories.

Contributor Notes

Rik Adriaans is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central European University in Budapest. He obtained his Master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam with a thesis on popular music and national identity in Armenia. His dissertation research explores the role of media and material culture in the relations between Armenia and the Armenian diaspora in the Los Angeles area.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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