For Immediate Release

May 2, 2006

65 Main Street, Watertown MA 02472
Contact Person: Mariam Stepanyan
Phone: 617.926.2562
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.almainc.org

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The Arts of Photography, Poetry, and Translation.

The Arts of Photography, Poetry, and Translation is the title of an
uncommon exhibition at the Armenian Library and Museum of America's
Terjenian Gallery, featuring photojournalist Armineh Johannes.

Illustrating the photography are selected poems from *I Want to Live*
by Shushanik Kurghinian, translated by Shushan Avagyan, and from the
*Other Voice: Armenian Women's Poetry Through the Ages*, translated
by Diana Der-Hovanessian.

DATES: May 14 - 28 during museum hours.

RECEPTION: Sunday, May 21, 2006, from 1:30 - 3:30 pm.

Armineh Johannes is an award-winning photojournalist whose assignments
and interests have taken her to Armenia for the last seventeen years,
and to some eastern and middle-eastern countries as well. The majority
of the photographs in this exhibition are from her "Transitions"
series which try to capture those elements in these societies that may
be in the process of disappearing, namely the traditional, the rural,
what is considered pre-industrial and everlastingly old-world. These
photos do not suggest revolution or upheaval of the overt kind;
rather they evoke those internal question marks and hidden tumults
that are part of every man's and woman's life.

The poetry linked to the images varies. Kurghinian's from I Want to
Live volume, deals with social issues, feminism, and confrontation
with established values and oppressive norms. The poetry from the
"Other Voice" extends the spectrum.

The forced juxtaposition of the photos with the selected poetry
provides some unusual tensions, reflecting the tension always inherent
in Kurghinian's poetry, and the range of emotions called forth by
the number of poets in the "Other Voice."

Is the pretty bride sitting on a patterned couch menacingly sandwiched
between two huge tiger faces, in fact happy bedecked in bracelets,
or is she Kurghinian's bride whose gold ringlets attest to the fact
that she is "Sold." Will the little girl with the black cat eventually
reflect her mother's high ideals as the poem "Gift to my Daughter"
suggests, or just her own mischievous spirit. What about the little
swaddled infant with the alert eyes? Viewing Johannes' web site and
people with more eastern non-Armenian eyes, provides further reflection
and questions about what their future holds.

Hopefully this exhibition will be a beginning exploration for the
viewer of how photography stimulates thought, and how poetry captures
images with a minimum of words.

To stimulate audience participation, and interest in the power
of translation, a poetry contest is an integral part of this
exhibition. Two of Kurghinian's poems, chosen by Karine Marino,
are available for translation from the Armenian. To make the
contest accessible to all, the Armenian comes with a literal,
word-by-word translation into English. The best poetic translation,
as judged by a jury of three, will receive a $100 (one hundred
dollar) award. The two poems are short love poems, in contrast to
the more serious and purposeful poetry of Kurghinian's in the I
Want to Live poetry book, to expose another aspect of this poet to
the public and to solicit a greater response to the contest. These
poems are available online on the publisher's web site, AIWA Press,
http://www.aiwa-net.org/AIWAwriters.

Don't miss this unusual exhibition. Bring your family and friends.

And let all try out for the contest, to demystify poetry while
simultaneously giving the fine art of translation its due, in a spirit
of fun and competition.

Both poetry books, published in 2005, are available from AIWA,
information via aiwainc.com; and from NAASR bookstore in Belmont,
MA, as well as other bookstores in the United States and elsewhere.

The exhibition at the Terjenian Gallery at ALMA, 65 Main Street,
Watertown, MA. 617.926.ALMA (2562) www.almainc.org, is open during
museum hours, Thursday 6 - 9 PM, Friday and Sunday 1 - 5 PM, Saturday
10 AM - 2 PM. Gallery Admission is Free.

Submitted by Gina Ann Hablanian