Hrant Tokhatyan: Intellectuals must never think of being appreciated
YEREVAN, MARCH 14, ARMENPRESS. “ Armenpress" - "Loft" joint "Bespoke Interview" project hosts People's Artist of Armenia Hrant Tokhatyan the interview with whom was ordered by our previous guest Mkrtich Arzumanyan.
-Mr. Tokhatyan, have you serves in Army?
-Hrant Tokhatyan – I have not served in Army, there were special military departments at that time, but I have a captain ranking of NKR Defense Army. For a long time I was running the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund Telethon, on the 20th anniversary of which the then president of NKR Arkadi Ghukasyan organized a reception in Artsakh. After the official reception he wanted to thank me somehow and asked what he could do for me? And I asked him to bestow me with a ranking of captain. He looked at me amazed and asked, “But why?” and I answered with a smile that I want my children to be “The Children of Captain Grant”.
-Mr. Tokhatyan, in which career phase are you at the moment? What is Hrant Tokhatyan engaged in now?
Hrant Tokhatyan – I plan to stage 3 plays in the near future. The continuation of “Mea Culpa “play will soon be ready for the audience, the preparatory works of which have already kicked off, The next play will be staged together with Narek Duryan and I have one more performance in the Russian Federation.
-If we observe the latest years’ cinema and theatre production, what prevails according to you? What dictates taste?
-If we are talking about dictating taste, naturally theatre must be the one to do that, but, unfortunately, today taste is shaped by the cinema. I think our TV transmits more negative information to the audience. Unfortunately, there are no cartoons or interesting programs for children, there are no educative programs for schoolchildren, there are films, soap operas for the youth and older generation, which, we can say, do not fit in high taste demands. Of course, they try, improve some things, but generally, I assess all that negatively.
- It is often said that the intellectuals not often voice about issues of public concern. Do you agree with that assessment? Though recently you talked about the destruction of cultural heritage.
- I do not agree for a number of reasons. If we take my sphere of activities as an example, I cannot imagine Armen Khandikyan, Jirayr Dadasyan, Ara Yernjakyan and others cease their rehearsals, go into streets and start shouting. These people must deal with those problems from their places. There is a stage for people of my sphere and profession to express their ideas or raise some issues. The performances I stage mainly focus on the future and past of our country, social issues and often they are much more acute in their form.
- Different opinions can be heard about intellectuals. It is mentioned that some of them are over-appreciated, others- vice the versa. In your opinion how is an intellectual perceived by the public?
Hrant Tokhatyan – An intellectual must never think of being appreciated. He must just do his job. The “consumer” will give the assessment. I will bring an example from another sphere. We all know Viktor Hambardzumyan, but I believe not all of us are astronomers. People, being far away from the specialization, know that Viktor Hambardzumyan exists.
Today we have a lack of such people who our youth can try to imitate or we just do not illustrate well enough the activities of those people. Many of my generation wished to become doctors, teachers, cosmonauts… Respect towards specialization was very strong at that time; I know it by my experience. I was a boy of 20 years when I arrived at Oshakan school to teach. When exiting the bus elderly people sitting under walls stood up and said “Our teacher arrived”.
-Can you mention a period from your professional life that is most close to your heart? May be you single it out conditioned by these or those factors?
Hrant Tokhatyan – Of course, the period when I used to teach at Oshakan’s secondary school. I am a teacher of Russian language and literature by profession. I taught there for 8 years. I remember those years with nostalgia till now.