Feature / Speaking in a loud voice / Spitak by Michal Luczak

The scenery here is soaked with resignation. All you can do is look at the mountains and imagine you are in Scandinavia – Norway, or even Iceland. Rocky peaks and mild slopes overgrown with fine grass. Landscape green from the ground and blue from the sky. An unambiguous and stark scenery. The decisions about the scenery were taken years back and are irrevocable. Just starkness and scorching sun. Then your eyes slide down from the hills to the valleys, falling on man-made features, signs of human presence. That’s Spitak. There can be no doubt. All over the place, your eyes are stung by evidence that something began here, but was soon abandoned in resignation.  Unfinished roads, bridges, houses, plants, barns, petrol stations. As if the people here lost their faith halfway through and simply left, perhaps to seek luck elsewhere. The road winds its way across an area full of failed hopes. We enter the city, parking on the central square. The place is buzzing. Here and there things are transported by car or carried, pulled or towed. A rug, couch, an old closet, a coil of wire or plastic tubes, several gypsum boards, a pile of bricks. The people keep building something. Or possibly, they have just ended building or are about to build. And then they will abandon all this? Perhaps they have simply run out of patience, perhaps they can still remember the earthquake, the horizon full of debris? Or maybe they simply realise that there is no point in all this only after they start, once they bring in the bricks, set up the formwork, mix the cement? That is why they stop. Yet, soon they forget about their resignation, with a new flame lighting up in them, a new impulse of change. So they start anew. And so it goes on over and over again. As long as it takes.
text by: Filip Springer