Thanks to vhovhan who informed me about their intention to take a puppet theatre to Nubarashen special school #11. This is a group of young activists whose initiative is to bring change about the everyday life of these children and not only. Incidentally, this is also exactly the group of young people who rose their concern about destruction of Teghut Forest with the purpose of exploitation of the ore mine by the Armenian Copper Program (ACP). Recently this group visited Teghut Forest to see it personally and talk to the dwellers of adjacent areas. A young activist Ovsanna posts her impressions and discoveries:
We used to think that villagers were against forest destruction because they care about their health, but in reality they were happy, because now they could have work. They didn’t know their children could develop health problems from the mine and they didn’t care about it. I didn’t even speak about the trees and animals. It would be useless to talk about animals when people don’t even care about their children. But, no, they told us, they do think about their children. The mine will give them an opportunity to earn money and send their children to Yerevan city. They were also falsely informed about the number of trees to be cut down, because when we asked them if they knew how many trees will be cut, they answered “100”. In reality, over 170.000 trees are going to disappear.
The villagers didn’t believe us when we told them we are just young activist who left our jobs to come and fight for nature. They think somebody paid us to do this.They no longer believe that humans will do something for nothing.
This is a very poor village and a cooper mine is a real “dream” for them. I want to mention the last thing they told us “They give us money, we are on their side. You give us money, we will be on yours”. MONEY…. KILLER MONEY!
There’s also a newly launched website to coordinate Teghut related materials. More information on the issue you can find visiting www.bnamard.blogspot.com which provides up to date information on the matter. Also, there’s a facebook group which you are welcomed to join.
Now about the puppet performance. Some time ago we were still thinking who to invite to give a performance for those kids. Apart from the puppet groups, another option was to give performance by ourselves. Though we still needed to purchase puppets and props. However, it was unexpected to learn that someone agreed to fund it and provide money to “Agulis” puppet theatre ruled by Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia Yervand Manaryan. Many thanks to that benefactor!!!
The kids were happy to see us as always. Before the performance started, some of us with cameras were taking pictures of the kids. A correction, it was rather that kids were making them take their pictures, not giving a leeway and asking to take their picture separately with all of their friends ;). It has always been the case, in fact! They are so naturally artistic, so open, that one doesn’t need to tell them how to look at the camera. I burst out in laughter when two girls laid on the floor with their heads in their palms asking to take their pictures! Later one of them asked the camera and started taking everyone’s’ pictures with a very serious look of a professional photographer. It was something!
By the way, there’s also a blog Big Family with posts about all the visits to special schools and orphanages. Hope some photos will appear there, as I didn’t have my camera with me.
The performance was a success. On the way back we were given a lift by the theatre van. One of the actresses said that these kids seemed to be more responsive than the ones from a kindergarten for children of wealthy people, where they had the chance to give the same performance. The question was why to pay that much money when their children are not taught anything in those “rich” kindergartens.
For a moment we were kiddingly serious that we were probably watching that performance more eagerly than the kids for who it was meant. After all, it is still their world of childhood, while were tried to remember when we last watched a puppet performance.