25 March 2015, 15:43
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Yerevan 2.0: the Focus

The managment of ‘’Yerevan Productions’’ explains what ‘’Yerevan 2.0’’ - the incubator of urban projects - is all about and answers the ‘’frequently asked questions’’

Nowadays, everybody is talking about ‘’The Yerevan Productions’’ starting something new. What is it all about?
We live in a city we love by inertia. We seek for its values in the past, in its old houses, building ornamentations. But we forget, that all these had been new once, what we all are proud of today, had been created by someone many years ago. And what new and valuable things are we ourselves creating nowadays? What will our descendants be proud of later? Yerevan needs new breath, new quality. And here, at ‘’Yerevan Productions’’, we decided not to wait any longer and start creating the new value ourselves, making difference between the old and the new. And all this received a new name: ‘’Yerevan 2.0’’- Incubator of urban projects.

Is Yerevan 2.0 incubator the continuation of the old projects or a has completely new ideology?
During 2005-2013, colossal efforts and fervor was being invested in the ‘’Yerevan’’ project. We published the ‘’Yerevan’’ magazine in the Russian and English languages for the Armenian Diaspora, which managed to unite lots of people around it, but failed to offer a large scale, structural concept. Business activities, such as cultural and urban charitable projects, were not in the spotlight and were spontanteous in nature. Moreover, they were funded by our shareholders, while all the Armenians should have been involved in the process. We were a media project, but media is merely a tool to solve bigger, more serious problems. And today we are making changes in the format, and move from words to deeds. Our media-platforms the ‘’Yerevan’’ magazine and the website ImYerevan.com will be of help.

After all, what is ‘’Yerevan 2.0’’ all about?
The city of Yerevan we were born in was set up in the first half of the 20th century, by a group of friends and fervent society members - architects, painters, composers, public and political figures. To speak in the modern language, it was an immensely successful start up, taken place under conditions of extreme scarcity of financial, personnel and industrial resources. Nonetheless, the new capital of the new country was set up as a modern, sophisticated , interesting , stylish city aspired to the future. Yerevan became the symbol of union and rebirth of all Armenians. After all, it has been designed by Armenians from Russia and Ukraine, and has been settled by newcomers from all corners of the world. It was the Armenian New York. That Yerevan has been called ‘Yerevan 1.0’, just like the software developers do. However, during recent years, Yerevan suffers loss of identity. It is in need of fresh ideas, new content, new game rules and up-to-date cultural milestones. And of course, it does need a community of people who shall not stay indifferent towards its future, and who would bring forth a new tone for the city. The first version of Yerevan is already out of date, and it should be updated, a difference should be made, and Yerevan 2.0 should be set up. It will be an interesting, pleasant, blissful city, you’d want to return to; it will be a city to spent delightful holidays in and to invite your friends to, and to work and raise your children in. The foreingners will also be willing to buying apartments here. At the same time, traditions will be well respected and preserved here. Taking etertainment opportunities here will be a fun even though one ma not have a local friend to spend time with. Yerevan 2.0 is an absolutely new Atmosphere, new Mood. And we need that Mood so much nowadays!

What is the mission of the Yerevan 2.0?
“Yerevan 2.0” is unifying project. The last true reunion of Armenians took place during the Artsakh war in 1990s.The 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015 will be another opportunity to talk about the gist of life and reassessment. Nonetheless, the nation should unite not only in the days of mourning, but also to build its future. Just like it was in the days of creation of “Yerevan 1.0”. Today, we, too, have an opportunity to reunite Armenians around Yerevan. As it’s not only the Capital of the Republic of Armenia, but also the Panarmenian Capital, the center of the Armenian World. This is what it is meant to be. That’s the essence of “Yerevan 2.0”, which should become a milestone, a strong and fundamental nucleus.

What are the main principles of the Incubator?
First of all, mention should be made that we have nothing to do with politics. We work with anybody having desire and potential to be helpful to Yerevan. As we progress, political and personal ambitions should be put aside.

Which are the main directions of the incubator's activities?
The creation of a new, a better quality Yerevan is a complex and lengthy process, as the city is not only the environment, but also the people living there, as well as existing knowledge. That’s why we have chosen several activity directions such as the aestethic change in the urban environment, the creation of world class cultural models, and the implementation of educational projects and cultural, urban, business, and technological programs.

Who will the incubator cooperate with?
We are open for cooperation with all interested organizations. The implementation of such a project requires close collaboration with government agencies, as well as various foundations, international organizations, private business enterprises.

Who can enter or participate in initiatives of the Yerevan 2.0 incubator?
Anyone willing. Everybody can give something to Yerevan. Some of them may devote their personal time, ready to become a volunteer in one of the urban projects. Others may offer knowledge and experience, allowing them to become an expert or adviser in one of the projects. Some people will be able to help with their networking potential or financial and other means. In a nutshell, if you want to change Yerevan, you may offer something to the city. That’s why we are open to everybody. A place called “The Flat” on 80 Aram Street has recently commenced its activities as a venue for meetings, colabouration and communication. It is lovely and genuinely Yerevan space. Just visit us or join our social network groups, become a part of the new Yerevan! Today, all of us can take this opportunity and there’s no reason of missing it.

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