Highlights of an ITP Reunion in Armenia! (Irem Yildiz, ITP 2017, Turkey)

Written by Irem Yıldız, 1st year DPhil student of Oriental Studies, the University of Oxford (ITP 2017, Turkey)

As summer is approaching again, it is reminding me of my great vacation last summer in Yerevan, Armenia. I went there to attend a summer school in Philosophy and Linguistics, and to have a summer vactaion as well. Yerevan is a fascinating city which connects past and present Armenian culture and history. I spent two weeks of August 2018 in Yerevan, where I had a chance to visit amazing museums, architectural sites and various places in the city.

First and foremost, I met my friends from ITP 2017, Astghik Marabyan (ITP 2017, Armenia),  then Director of Education at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts in Yerevan, Armenia and Hayk Mkrtchyan (ITP 2014 & ITP 2017, Armenia), Manager of Museums Association of Armenia.

We had dinner at a cafe at the Cascade and talked about our wonderful days at the BM in summer 2017. I remember that I had shared a cab with Astghik going back to the airport. That day I would have never imagined I would see her again.


The Cascade is my favourite place in Yerevan. It is an open-air museum and park where locals and tourists are having fun, and enjoying the city. There are cafes and restaurants around the centre, with a Botero sculpture placed in the middle.

The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is an art museum located in the central Kentron District near to the Cascade. It is actually more than a museum. It is an art complex with a massive staircase with fountains, gardens and a pedestrian zone. The open-air sculpture garden connects the art space with the public space. Personally, I cannot separate in my mind the Cascade area from the Cafesjian Museum of Art as both locals and tourists are out enjoying the museum’s steps all day and night. This is my favourite place in Yerevan.

Astghik gave me a tour around the Cafesjian Centre for the Arts and showed me her favourite object in the museum. I enjoyed it very much.

In the evening, I listened to local music at the Cafesjian Centre’s concert hall. Thanks to my wonderful host Astghik I had an opportunity to listen to traditional Armenian folk songs. The concert hall is located at the top of the complex, where you can see an amazing view of Yerevan at night. It was truly an amazing experience for me.


My other favourite museum is the Sergei Parajanov Museum.  It is a house museum, and its collection consists of works by Sergei Parajanov: assemblages, 3D collages, drawings, furniture and personal belongings. His way of creating art and the way in which he looked at the outer world is impressive. Sergei Parajanov was a film director and artist who was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1924 and died in Yerevan, Armenia in 1990.

I also visited several monasteries outside the city. I was impressed by the architecture, history and the views of Khor Virap and Noravank.

I also visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial & Museum in Yerevan, which is a place for remembering and for reminding us about the past, through the creation of a narrative using visual and textual sources. It was really impressive.

Genocide Monument.jpg

I feel privileged to be a part of the ITP community.  Thank you Astghik Marabyan (ITP 2017, Armenia) and Hayk Mkrtchyan (ITP 2014 & ITP Senior Fellow  2017, Armenia)!