An interview with Heghine Aleksanyan – analyst, coordinator of Analytical Forum of “Enlight” Public Research Center NGO.
Heghine, when and how did you find out about “Enlight”?
I joined “Enlight” in 2018. At that time the name wasn’t changed yet, and the organization was called ACoYA․ Actually, I am beholden to Grisha Gasparyan for joining the organization, who at that time was the ACoYA spokesperson, if I am not mistaken. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Grisha had been constantly telling me about the organization for about a year, sending analysts’ materials so that I could get acquainted and apply myself, considering how much I had to tell. I remember being very impressed by Arlina Sargsyan’s article, “The World of Dante Alighieri’s Numbers and Symbols.” So I started following the works of the Analytical Forum regularly, admiring the organization as a platform building a valuable database, and finally filled out an application to join the team of analysts.
“Enlight” is a unique platform among Armenian public organizations, and one of the best, why not. What do you think the key of the organization’s success is?
The greatest wealth of “Enlight” is its members, and the created result, the culture and the neatly-organized work schedule are the precious heritage of the organization. Analysts with different professions, approaches, handwriting, style, sitting round the table, heatedly discuss a variety of topics from e-government transformations to Shakespeare or the Japanese Ko-e. I think this is the very guarantee of “Enlight’s” viability, which one will not see anywhere else.
What is the primary task and mission of the Analytical Forum Coordinator?
To answer this question, I have to make a small comparison – analysts are the blood and the engine of “Enlight”. It is the blood that supplies the body with oxygen and nutrients, and the role of the analytical forum coordinator is perhaps to be a blood vessel, that is, the carrier that ensures the circulation of blood, while remaining close to those outside the body. I think the main task of the Analytical Forum coordinator is to be such a carrier for the analysts, which not only ensures their normal course, but also creates new ways for them, promoting their self-improvement and growth, making them more visible to the outside world as the importance of fresh blood.
Referring to your materials and looking at your works, it becomes clear that you have a wide range of interests, from the influence of rap-battles to the materials on the historical development and spread of Japanese manga. Can you elaborate on the principle of choosing the topics of the materials?
Actually, I do not make any choices when writing articles, everything seems to turn out spontaneously. In general, I approach any work or material, which I find, as a hidden treasure, which I am lucky enough to discover. And highlighting them extremely, I want to respond, to formulate all the reflections that the acquaintance with that material / phenomenon has given to me, and to emphasize the wealth that the author of the work or the bearers of that heritage have.
“Enlight”, in addition to the main motto, has a new motto this year – “Study to change!” How did it impress and how will it impress the future activity of the organization?
“Enlight” is a growing organism. As I mentioned, when I joined the organization, it was still called the “Armenian Center of Young Analysts”, and in fact, I have witnessed the transformations that our organization has gone through, expanding the scope of its activities. I think the motto chosen by our members is a guideline that shows how “Enlight” will continue its path.
Are there any restrictions on the choice of materials for authors? Are there any prioritized topics?
No, there can be no restrictions. This is the uniqueness of “Enlight”. It is entirely based on the initiative and the ideas of its members, and each writes on topics that are important and interesting to him/her. Not even can the person’s profession limit the choice of the topic. I am a vivid example.
Nowadays, there aren’t many people who like to read analytical materials instead they prefer daily informative articles. How serious is this problem? What steps should be taken to solve it?
Each period dictates its own tendencies, but I don’t think it should be adapted or guided by the preferences of the audience. On the contrary, I get excited when I see extensive analysis, one-paragraph sentences, in-depth analysis of a phenomenon and references to materials written beyond the 19-20th centuries, when it is obvious how far the author of the analysis is able to look. All this requires extensive and long work, and I do not think that the format of its representation is important. Any work, no matter in which format, will find its reader, each author should decide himself/herself how he/she wants to convey his/her message. So I don’t think there is a need to take any action.
Which age-groups are most interested in writing and reading analytical materials?
I don’t think that the age-group plays a role in writing or reading analytical materials.
How do you imagine “Enlight” in a few years? What would you like to see after some years?
Every time I think about this question, various scenarios come to my mind that will allow me to make hundreds of descriptions for the same organization. In some, “Enlight” is much more successful with more opportunities implemented, in others, it’s less effective than what the organization could be taking into account its potential. But how I would like to see the organization years later – I can’t say. I have an inner conviction that having desires, expectations for the future is meaningless, sometimes disruptive, because it does not allow you to use the whole potential you have at the moment. It remains only to work hard and to act. After all, our goal is not to be somewhere in the future, but what we are already doing. Therefore we will definitely not knock on the spot.
The interview was held by Anna Manukyan
Translator: Sona Simonyan © All rights reserved.