The book is a heritage that should be passed on to generations. Ruzanna Grigoryan, the official representative of "GeoProMining"

February 12, 2024 Arminfo

ArmInfo.On February 10, Dvin Music Hall will open its doors to the biggest literary event of the year: Newmag Winter Fest-2024. The day for book lovers will be transformed into a holiday with a variety of genres and diverse interludes. "GeoProMining" company is one of the general sponsors of the festival. This partnership is not coincidental; as Ruzanna Grigoryan, the official representative of the company, assures, "The book is a significant heritage of humanity that must be preserved, developed, and carefully passed on to future generations."

Why did your company agree to support the winter festival?

Newmag Winter Fest is already a well-established event. Newmag publishing house organizes book festival conferences twice a year, so to speak, with summer and winter "editions". Dvin Music Hall was chosen to host the current, winter version of the festival. As you can see, it is more than a high-level place, and accordingly, the preparation work has been done with great vigor.

It will be a grand and splendid book festival, which will attract not only a wide target audience but also bring together people sharing the same value system, one in which books hold a leading position.

The festive fiesta will last the whole day, practically continuously, and entry is free for everyone. Presentations of new books will take place within the framework of the event, and the authors themselves will present their works. Naturally, since this is first and foremost a book fair, any book presented will be available for purchase. The book festival is designed to truly become the quintessence of modern art and culture.

The festivities will kick off with a performance by the Artsakh State Jazz Orchestra. The festival will also feature an exhibition showcasing the works of Tigran Tsitoghdzyan and Nur. An insightful panel discussion is on the agenda, delving into the pressing issues facing book publishing in the modern world. Following this, attendees can enjoy Avet Barseghyan's creative evening titled "Love is Wanted" featuring not only poetry recitals by the author but also interactive sessions where he addresses questions from the audience. Additionally, Sona Rubenyan, Aram MP3, and Gor Sujyan will perform songs inspired by Avet's poems. In summary, the program is packed, and I'm confident that the book celebration will be a resounding success.

As I already said, the Tovmasyan Foundation opens the doors of the Dvin Music Hall to a wide target audience. And "GeoProMining", Ardshinbank, and "Profile" act as the general partners of the event.

To my knowledge, "GeoProMining" has a history of supporting significant events dedicated to literature.

The history of our presence in this field begins in 2012 when Armenia celebrated with great pomp the 500th anniversary of Armenian printing, which dates to 1512. It was in that year that Hakob Meghapart published “Urbatagirq” in Venice. Various events were held throughout the year, but a gala event was also organized, of which we became the general sponsor. The whole program was held under the auspices of UNESCO, and it was a great honor for us to be one of the sponsors of the Year of the Book.

On that day, Buenos Aires conveyed the title of "World Book Capital" to Yerevan. The festivities commenced at the square of the Opera and Ballet Theater, featuring a captivating performance by the renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli accompanied by our Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hover Choir. Subsequently, dignitaries from various nations, including government officials, mayors, members of the diplomatic corps, acclaimed writers, publishers, and library directors, congregated at the front platform of the Matenadaran entrance. The Matenadaran's walls transformed into a mesmerizing "screen," displaying a breathtaking 3D film celebrating the rich history of Armenian writing and its profound reverence for the book.

This momentous occasion provided us with a unique opportunity to extend invitations to our international partners, including banks and financial institutions, offering them a glimpse into Armenia's heritage as the cradle of ancient writings. It showcased our nation's enduring love and reverence for the written word, a cherished tradition that has endured through the ages.

Does your company, I would say a mega-company, participate only in mega-events dedicated to books?

Not at all. Within the framework of corporate social responsibility, which is an inseparable part of our business development, educational programs occupy a very serious place. We have been running one such program called "Primary to Diploma in Engineering" dedicated to the upbringing and education of the rising generation for many years. And the book is an important factor here, if not the main character. In the hierarchy of moral and spiritual values, the book has a leading position, and these are not just beautiful words.

From the company's management to the ordinary employees, we have a common deep understanding that the Book is the great heritage of mankind, which must be preserved, developed, and carefully passed down to generations.

Accordingly, throughout these 17 years, we have implemented various programs with various publishing houses, supported the publication of Russian educational literature within the educational programs of the Russian House attached to the Russian Embassy in Armenia, and acted as a sponsor of the publication of various books.

We are also connected with publishing companies in the field of children's literature. Every year for children's holidays, we choose books as gifts. In the team, we even created a special parenting committee, which is headed by, don't be surprised, our general director. We have employees whose children are extremely intelligent readers, and their opinions are always decisive in the selection of books. Of course, the publishers themselves also help us a lot here. Their recommendations allow you to select books for the right age groups. Preference is given to various children's encyclopedias, popular scientific publications, and fiction.

Today, the market offers a very large variety of books. Today they sing, play, and show 3D images. Recently, the books "Marduk-Jarduk" and "Swan Lake" were published with musical accompaniment. You press a button and excerpts from the ballet play. The children were simply delighted. Over the years, we have bought more than 25,000 books for the Armenian regions where we are present. Of course, such wholesale purchases support the publishing industry of Armenia.

Such an approach resembles a "symphony". And it seems that there is not a lot of propaganda for the glory of the Book, but we are more and more immersed in iPhones...

It is a modern question. In our company, we understand very well how much the trends have changed. The whole world is going digital. Artificial intelligence is increasingly announcing itself with geometric progression. Accordingly, investors prefer mostly digital directions, and book culture begins to lose ground. But we still believe that the book guarantees a spiritually healthy gene pool, the possession of great culture, and great knowledge that covers the widest horizons, the book is the symbiosis of all that humanity has created throughout the history of its existence, both intellectually and spiritually. In other words, for us, it is a classic, unmistakable version.

By the way, as a consolation, I should mention that once in an interview with Pozner, one of the major Russian specialists in the field of artificial intelligence explained its advantages for a long time, but ended with the following words: "In 50 years, the world will be ruled by people who have not given up the habit of reading books"... But let's go back to Newmag Winter Fest. Its focus is the promotion of Armenian authors, or is it the "broader audience"?

As I already said, many Armenian authors present their new books at Newmag Winter Fest, and it is not only good but also very important. But no less important are the translations of world bestsellers into Armenian, which keep the Armenian reader informed about world events and trends in the field of literature. In this sense, the activity of the Newmag publishing house is quite diverse: from the most respected geopolitical scientists and economists to young promising writers. For example, the book "The Culture Map" by Professor Erin Meyer of an International Business School, tells about how people think, manage, and achieve goals in an international environment, and how important it is to understand cultural differences to achieve mutual understanding in international projects. Thanks to the Newmag publishing house, one of the most influential works of the second half of the 20th century was published in Armenian: the book "Capitalism and Freedom" by Milton Friedman, laureate of the Nobel Prize in economics, which is included in the list of "100 best scientific works of all time". These are the primary global trends that the Armenian reading public has not been exempted from. "Oracle" and "Newmag" publishing houses have done much work with joint efforts to publish Russian authors in Armenian. They are Vladimir Pozner's "Farewell to Illusions", cultural historian Solomon Volkov's "Conversations with Vladimir Spivakov" and other books. All this is very important.

Fortunately, the individuals spearheading the book publishing industry in Armenia are not only highly educated but also keenly aware of the significance of their mission. At least, that's the impression I have of those I've encountered. They steadfastly and resolutely guide the realm of book publishing along the prescribed path of development. A coalition of like-minded individuals is essential to champion such a noble cause on the scale of the state and the nation. I am hopeful that the Newmag Winter Fest will emerge as a successful manifestation of such a coalition, providing an opportunity to continually promote the importance of books and to unite as many people as possible around this common cause.