20-year-old Anahid Yahjian of Los Angeles recently produced Armentsi, a 10-minute documentary exploring the assimilation of the Armenian community in Bulgaria.
A member of the Armenian Youth Federation’s Western Region, Yahjian was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and was raised in Los Angeles. She traveled to Bulgaria in winter 2008, where she filmed 11 interviews with various members of the Armenian communities of Sofia and Plovdiv.
The project was funded by a Richter-ASP research grant from Occidental College, where Yahjian is a senior English and Comparative Literary Studies major. The film is a product of Yahjian’s academic interest in both Armenian and non-Armenian conceptions of diaspora, nationalism, cultural memory and identity.
Armentsi contains a small portion of the interviews Yahjian conducted and focuses on the Armenians in Sofia. She is currently editing and compiling the remaining footage into mini-videos that she will then post to YouTube. Armentsi won second place at the 2010 Occidental College Student Film Festival, held on the Occidental campus in February.
Yahjian is currently in Kigali, Rwanda, volunteering as a photography instructor.