Why are boundaries set on lands, ideas or imagination? 16-year-old Anahit Mkrtchyn already knows that boundaries are set to limit things, but she has no intention of letting that stop her.
· When I came to TUMO the first time…
It was the first Tuesday in December of 2011, right when I turned 12. And then, everything changed: I had access to the best experts, the best workshops and the space to develop myself independently. I knew immediately that I could find everything in the world within these walls, except the routine way of thinking.
Name a workshop and I’ve participated in it: Hack the TUMO Fountains, filmmaking, graphic design, photography, creative writing, calligraphy, motion graphics, branding and even the recent Aurora project. It was during that workshop that our leader, Ayman Hassan, turned all of our previous ideas about creative work upside down. We were playing with ideas and that experimentation happened to yield beautiful results. It was unbelievable…but not really. It’s also not surprising that after each workshop, that one becomes my new favorite. The impact from the workshop is still fresh in my mind and I become inspired. Then, I participate in a new workshop and each time I get more and more impressed. But the thing that leaves the biggest impression on me is being a member of a creative team.
· Taking responsibility for one’s own free will
Last year, I decided I wanted to spend some time volunteering to establish ties with my community. But aside from that, I wanted my day-to-day to be less uniform and at the same time, be of use. It’s true, I’m young and I still have to work hard to make a big impact, but I want to do something corresponding to my ability. In the end, I finally found the right organization, Development NGO, which fits perfectly within my realm of interests. Right now we are working to integrate schools into the local community life. We’ve held various public lectures and organized events for the neighborhood’s residents.
· Balancing culture and individual identity
Being Armenian or growing up in Armenia seems to automatically add Armenian symbols to your work. The environment and the people create amood in my character that’s all mine. But regardless of how much I love Armenian ornamental art, it’s not mandatory that I include them in my work to feel Armenian or say my work is Armenian.
· Extreme arts
In Armenia, being involved in intellectual work is almost like playing an extreme sport. Yes, we have centuries of culture to draw upon, but at the same time, everything is new; the path is a bit bumpy. But all that does is give me the opportunity to think, explore and make that bumpy path a little smoother. I really want to receive an international education, interact with different cultures and experience new things and to bring all that international experience to Armenia in order to benefit my country.
· Next stop, UWC Dilijan
I saw the UWC presentation at Dilijan two years ago. It was then that I decided that I am going to be admitted. To be honest, I didn’t believe that I would get in. The ideas that they asked me about during the admittance process, the very ones that I guess got me into the school, were all in me because of TUMO, ideas such as what education and motivation are. Actually, the first time I really felt motivated was at TUMO.
· The most important thing is inspiration
And to be alone. At the very beginning, at the start of any idea formation process, you must be alone. At night, everything in my room is very neatly organized; nothing can distract or bother me. Then later on, group discussion and working in teams helps to develop that idea.
The best of the best, according to Anahit
Favorite book: Crime and Punishment. In general, the book should be thick and realistic.
Favorite type of music: Rock. Really, really, really rock. Crazy, emotional and vibrant.
Favorite band: The Beatles. This love was born in her from a young age.