“A nation’s culture is vital for its existence, and we must do everything to develop it”, Simon Abkarian

Simon Abkarian, in conversation with Lara Tcholakian, speaks about the latest project he has undertaken with Serge Avédikian and several artists to share and exchange knowledge with local artists in Armenia. He reveals his concerns and the challenges that Armenia’s art sector is facing.

Abkarian alsoreflects on the impact that his memories of the Armenian Genocide stories have had on him – from Musa Dagh, Cesaria, and Erzurum – and explains how the those memories have helped him develop as an actor, director and writer. Finally, he shares his hope and vision for a more collective nation whereby Armenia and the Diaspora collaborate and work efficiently together.

About Simon Abkarian

Simon Abkarian is an actor, director and writer. He was born in France, grew up in Lebanon, then later settled in France again. Simon has gained international success as an actor in both theatre and feature films. He rose to fame by joining Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théatre du Soleil. In 2001, he starred in Kalinoski’s Beast on the Moon which won him his first Molière. He has been featured in more than 60 international films, including Sally Potter’s Yes, and the James Bond film, Casino Royale. He also appeared in Atom Egoyan’s Ararat as Arshile Gorky, in Robert Guediguian’s The Army of Crime as Missak Manouchian, and Robert Kechichian’s Aram, as Aram, to name a few. In 2020, Abkarian was awarded with 3 Molière awards for his play “Electre des bas-fonds”.

Program overview

Armenian leaders share inherited cultural and historical narratives, memories, life learnings and experiences. Down-to-earth, authentic and mindful conversations preserve the stories and legacies of families, and reflect on the lessons learnt from inherited collective trauma and introspective leadership.



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