Self portrait

Sergei Parajanov, Queer Icon and Polymath Artist

Sergei Parajanov (1924–1990) is one of the most famous Armenian filmmakers and queer icons. Parajanov made films showcasing cultures from around the Soviet Union, including Ukranian, Armenian, Georgian, and Azerbaijani stories and symbols.

Parajanov was bisexual, and imprisoned for it, and the subversive nature of his work, in 1973. His most famous film The Color of Pomegranates includes queer subtext with the same actor switching between male and female representations.

As Queer Armenian Library, and IG @readtheqal says in their article,

“His sexuality, like Yeghishe Charents’ , is often erased by Armenia and the Armenian community, even today.”

the artist and his mother

Interdisciplinary artist or polymath seems like understatement when considering all that Parajanov’s body of work encompasses. Film, painting, textiles, metal work, collage, mosaic, drawing, performance, sculpture, and other media, his work addresses the personal and political with a depth that’s difficult not to feel and that makes us feel a profound connection to this queer elder who changed so much for many of us.

one of Parajanov’s many collages

by Araxie Cass

Ընտանիք/Entanik is a chosen family of queer Armenians, other SWANA folks, and allies dedicated to coming together in inclusive unity.