TARA ANI BAGHDASSARIAN
Tara Ani Baghdassarian is an artist and activist of Armenian descent with a vast interdisciplinary body of work that includes film, illustration, shadow theater, and music. She has newly returned to her hometown in the Bay Area after spending five years in Armenia, her ancestral homeland. Drawing from both her experiences as a first-generation American and repatriated citizen of Armenia, Tara’s work addresses cultural memory and erasure, legacies of trauma, and existential threats to ethnic identity. Much of her work is also rooted in meditation and nature as resistance to the ever-industrializing, digitalized world.
Tara earned a BA in Art and a minor in Theater & Performing Arts from UC Berkeley. After moving to Yerevan, Armenia, she began a career in tech as a Partnerships Account Manager at Picsart. It wasn’t until the morning of September 27 of 2020, that Tara’s perception drastically shifted. While the world’s attention was expended on COVID 19, elections, fires, and other global issues, Azerbaijan (a petro-oligarchic authoritarian regime) launched a full scale war in the autonomous region of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) with the support of Turkey and Israel. Mobilizing alongside the entire nation, Tara joined All For Armenia, an organization that provides humanitarian aid to refugees and soldiers at the frontline. Approximately 90,000 Armenians in Artsakh lost their homes that fall.
Tara’s work examines the continued project of ethnic cleansing of indigenous Armenian lands under the guise of territorial dispute. The relevancy in her practice has only strengthened as the legacy of denial persists since the 1915 Armenian Genocide. In resistance to disinformation, calculated erasure, and geopolitically-backed silence, Tara attempts to breathe truth into the future by lending a voice to those most affected.