Insights from Aesthetics and Politics Alum Ani Tatintsyan on #RepopulateArmenia

On Dec. 7, “Eros: Repopulation and the Instinct of Self-Preservation,” an article by CalArts alum Ani Tatintsyan (Critical Studies MA 16) was published in The Armenian Mirror-Spectator

When the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region erupted on Sept. 27, Armenian youth in both Armenia and the diaspora began to flood Twitter with enthusiastic and sometimes lighthearted memes and tweets about having large families and repopulating Armenia. In her piece, Tatintsyan takes a deeper look at the meaning within these jokes and their origins, asking “What’s the theory behind the impulse?” 

Gathering insight and understanding from Eros, the god of love and sex in Greek mythology, as defined by Freud, Plato, C.S. Lewis, and others, Tatintsyan outlines where Armenians’ defense against destruction and genocide comes from:

In the face of annihilation, violence, and destruction; Armenian people strive to create the new on a foundation of the old. Standing on the pedestal of ancestral wisdom, our people keep going. This is the way that we know how to survive…Armenians’ defense against destruction comes from their unions as well as their creative and productive ambitions. We know all too well the real fears of extermination, and through these seemingly youthful “jokes,” we see something very real for our communities: the belief that our ultimate victory lies in our continued existence.

Born in Goris, Armenia, Tatintsyan is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker, and a graduate of the Aesthetics and Politics program at CalArts. She is the author of two books of poetry, Letters to Strangers (2013) and Everything is Magic (2016). She also writes about politics, popular culture, and philosophy. 

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