Thursday, November 18, 2010

Creative Technology in Armenia


Jirair Garabedian
Canada

If you've ever taken any of the marshutkas across the Kievyan bridge and wondered what that giant pink curved building across the gorge is, that's Tumo.

I pretty much accidentally stumbled upon the world's biggest creative technology center. About sometime in mid-July, I believe, I had started volunteering through BR/AVC. Anyways, I'd been ridiculously busy at KassArt Studios, helping pull together the second annual ReAmimania Animation Film Festival. Busy as I was, I figured 'hey, it won't kill me to go to one forum/havak'. So I get over to the Birthright Armenia office, it was the first time I'd been there in weeks and the first time I was actually meeting any of the other volunteers. So I get down there, meet a few folks, shake a couple hands. Then we all cram into one or two taxis and start heading somewhere (I didn't know where, yet).

As our taxi pulls up to the dusty gates, I looked around, trying to find where it is we'd be going.

We get out of the car and walk through some ripped up terrain, I turn the corner of the trailer and see this massive behemoth of a building.

Anyways, we got a tour of the place and I was pretty much dragging my jaw along behind me. I was amazed that something of this quality, of this sort of vision existed in Armenia of all places. For those of you who don't know, the Tumo Center for Creative Technology is a place for kids from 12-18 to come learn technology, design, animation, programming, game design and the like.

They're given all the tools, the learning space and all the opportunites to become professionals in a growing entertainment/media arts industry. Anyways, it's a great place to work, I love every second of it. Challenging but also very rewarding. I realize the description and overall quality in this blog post kinda went downhill after the main paragraph...I'm at work..

Alright back to work.

Later!

(The picture is of Jirair planting a tree at Toumanyan Park, within which TUMO is located, earlier this fall.)

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