Turning the page on the past

(Sona Andreasyan)

A Great Barrington artist is carving out space for Armenian women to contribute and evolve the practice of bookmaking.
Suzi Banks Baum first travelled to Armenia on a trip with several journalists, led by award-winning National Geographic photojournalist John Stanmeyer, in March 2016. On the trip, Baum interviewed 25 women artists.
“I was very curious as to how they do their work, how they live and what the conditions in their life are … being in a country that’s very steeped in the patriarchy,” said Baum. “In a deeply traumatized population, I discovered that women were not very connected.”
What Baum discovered from the interviews was that some of the areas that the women had identified as lacking in where areas and/or skills that she could assist with as both a community-builder and A typical path for a young woman would include receiving a good education, but then getting married and push career goals aside, said Baum. Motherhood, she added, is highly-prized. Very few identify their profession as an artist. Many women hold factory jobs or serve as educators with very low pay, she said.
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