Between the Public Sphere and Öffentlichkeit
Editor Vardan Azatyan Yerevan: Utopiana, Johannissyan Institute, 2014 ISBN 978-9939-1-0128-6 The volume Between the Public Sphere and Öffentlichkeit is a product of collaboration between The Johannissyan Institute and Utopiana cultural-creative organization, within the framework of Spaces program. The volume is compiled and edited by Vardan Azatyan with an extensive introduction by the editor. The contributions in the volume provide paths to thinking the public by discussing the notion and its different manifestations. The volume could be considered as the continuation of the anthology Public Sphere: Between Contestation and Reconciliation published in 2007 by the National Association of Art Critics (AICA Armenia) (Editor Vardan Azatyan). As opposed to the first volume, Between the Public Sphere and Öffentlichkeit appears against the background of the 2008 presidential elections in Armenia with its contradictory refractions and outcomes as well as on the backdrop of active public life that evolved through and around civic activist movements. This is especially evident in the first part of the volume entitled “Interventions” where almost all the contributors also had articles in the first volume, and reflect their concerns of the past six years. The second part of the book entitled “Recollections” includes significant and interconnected texts that articulate the ideas of the public sphere as manifested in the local history. This section both continues and supplements the themes and problems introduced in “Interventions”. The second part of the book is entirely comprised of the historical episodes of the Armenian enlightenment, a tradition where the idea of the public sphere was first conceptualized. The third part of the volume “Contribution” is the Armenian translation of Malcolm Miles’ text “Public Spheres.” Miles is a British cultural theorist who also had contributed to the first volume. The book includes texts by Vardan Azatyan, Hrach Bayadyan, Angela Harutyunyan, Nare Hovhannisyan, Ashot Johannissyan, Nazareth Karoyan, Mikael Mazmanyan, Malcolm Miles, Mikael Nalbandyan, Alexandr Tamanyan, Srbuhi Tyusab and Flora Vardanyan. The book is available in libraries and bookstores in Yerevan.