Art documentary | 2018 | 35 min
In the mountains, 90 kilometers north of Yerevan, there is a town called Dilijan.The town is commonly known as the “Switzerland of Armenia”, due to its lush, virgin forests.
Dilijan does not have an ancient history like so many other Armenian towns.
It was founded in the 19th century. The population of Dilijan grew under Russian rule at the turn of the 20th century. Several theater groups were established in the 1890s, and the first library of the town was opened in 1908. Dilijan was a favorite meeting place for Armenian and Russian intellectuals.
Benefitting from the constructive spirit of Russian imperialism and an extended period of peace, Dilijan became a key cultural hub on the silk route between Georgia and Iran. Health resorts, as well as the town’s Composers’ Retreat, Cinematographers’ Retreat, and the Writers’ Retreat on Lake Sevan drew artists of international acclaim to Dilijan. Dilijan became a unique center for artistic exchange in the Caucasus. With culture and labor working hand in hand, Armenian society cultivated a vision in which artists became authentic mediators between different ideas and visions of the world.
The most important factory in Dilijan was called “Impuls”. It was founded in 1967 and specialized in the production of communications technology, as well as the production of electronic devices for the Soviet Ministry of Defense. Impuls employed over 4,000 people, of whom 70 percent were women.
The factory closed its doors after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since then, private investors have tried to reactivate the factory, but have met no success.
Despite the violence of social transformation and political persecution during the 20th century, the residents of Dilijan still long for community interaction.