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 About the Forum

There are many talented Armenian artists working in the United States and throughout the diaspora. And some of them may very well be the Atom Egoyans and Peter Balakians of tomorrow.

But the Critics' Forum also believes that we need to raise the bar on Armenian diasporan art, which includes paying more attention to what we define as "art," regardless of its message. It also means better defining the role and character of the diasporan "artist."

The process of getting there requires a genuine dialogue between artists and their audiences as well as their potential critics. By critics in this case, we refer not to those who might undermine or discredit the art they see, hear or read but to those willing to "critique" or constructively analyze it, often from a more "detached" perspective.

The most difficult truth Armenians face as a global community may indeed prove to be accepting the fact that today we have too many artists and not nearly enough critics. The genuine and necessary work of critique must be carried out in open dialogue with artists and for the benefit of the entire Armenian community, but with a much more cosmopolitan audience in mind.

What we need at this particular moment is not an artistic revival so much as a genuinely critical response to the art already being produced in such great abundance. The success of any cultural revival and the fate of the Armenian diasporan communities that created it demand nothing less.

A weekly, syndicated column called Critics' Forum represents a first effort in this direction. The articles in the series appear every weekend in the pages of Asbarez, Armenian Weekly, and a growing list of other publications, including online venues. Each column highlights an event, a work, or a set of issues in one of four areas:

Critics' Forum is composed of critics, writers, and artists whose works you may have already read, including Adriana Tchalian, Aram Kouyoumdjian, Ara Oshagan, and Sam Ekizian, among others. With your help, we hope to start a conversation about where the art we produce has been and where it's going.

Look for our articles here and in the various publications. And please feel free to send comments, suggestions or submissions for review to: comments@criticsforum.org

We also invite you to join our mailing list, to receive a new article each week. And we are always looking for committed and talented critics to contribute articles and thought pieces.

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