Spreading Awareness of Environmental Injustice in Armenia3 min read
Tigran Ayvazyan graduated from the American University of Armenia (AUA) in 2018 with an undergraduate degree in English and Communications. He is the co-founder of 4 Friends Adventures and AeroClub, organizations focused on outdoor activities and extreme sports. During his years at AUA, Tigran became very passionate about filmmaking, while his love for nature was a part of his life since childhood. Recently, he combined his two interests by taking part in a new documentary called “Eco Patrol,” which sheds light on the environmental problems and the challenges of Armenia’s ecosystem.
“Eco Patrol” was initiated by KinoKet Production, which is an organization focusing on producing high-quality narrative and documentary films. “Eco Patrol” is one of their biggest projects as of now. Together with a professional crew and high-quality equipment, Tigran aims to spread awareness of environmental injustices that much of the Armenian population might not have acknowledged, while showing the beauty of Armenia and nature. The documentary series focuses on Tigran Ayvazyan, Ani Khachikyan, and Levon Harutyunyan, young experts in the fields of acting, ecology, and extreme sports, as they investigate water pollution and deforestation caused by mining in some Armenian villages.
“I spend most of my time in nature as a part of my job. It is simply impossible to ignore these ecological issues when you are so deeply connected with nature. In the past, I always took away something from nature, but I never had a chance to give back. When I got the offer to participate in this project, I agreed right away,” remarks Tigran.
Tigran believes that the biggest issue in environmental injustice in Armenia comes from false perceptions and the unwillingness to take responsibility. People often throw empty plastic bottles on roads knowing it is bad for the environment, but do not do anything about it because that is not a priority for them. The same concept applies to businesses, such as restaurants, where people throw trash into rivers, and the cycle continues. According to Tigran, the main impact of “Eco Patrol” would be making a shift in the perceptions and priorities of the Armenian people so they are encouraged to take action and grow an increased desire to spend more time in nature and engage in outdoor activities. The team of “Eco Patrol” hopes to air the series on television to reach wider audiences. Tigran notes that everyone on the team puts in tremendous effort to make the project as professional as possible, and would need funding to realize that goal and complete the series.
Regarding his future plans and projects, Tigran wants to continue his work in paragliding and get more involved in tourism and filmmaking.
“One of my biggest inspirations at AUA was Zareh Tjeknavorian, who inspired me in so many ways. He told me that I should stay in the world of cinema and that quitting is not an option. I remember his words and I am taking steps in that direction through this project. In the meantime, I enjoy my work in paragliding. Teaching people to ‘fly’ and fall in love with nature makes me very happy. Once people find their place in nature, they will do anything to preserve it.”
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.