Inknagir Magazine has established for itself various literary goals, the development and organization of literary discussions and a literary atmosphere, as well as its vision for literary exchange. In the early years, the focus was to create and disseminate literature that was independent of that which the authoritarian system created during Soviet times and was now continuing by inertia, or free of the dictates of the newly developing ideology (entering virtual space solved that problem and our previous magazine, Bnagir, became the first Armenian online literary platform). Years later, when other independent literary spaces appeared, the magazine established its literary freedom through different means, emphasizing the principle of remaining a space free of market demands, and not submitting itself to either populist, or elitist trends.
Today, the magazine continues to put its vision of literature into action, focusing on the objective of literature as one not faced with a dilemma of obligation—political weaponization or utilization, or apolitical spiritual activity, which is common practice in our times—but to think literature, seeing it as the creation of a personal, independent, and special world. The policies of this world are decided by the authors who don’t just act as a counterbalance to the political system, but set their own agenda. Literature does not serve public demand; it actually creates society as do science, politics and philosophy, but in contrast and in complement to them, it recalls and reminds people of humanity, saving the world from monotonous and uniform primitivism. These are the principles through which foreign authors are translated, and it is this position which allows the magazine to include a wide range of works, including works from experimental writers who wish to use their words to be a part of this world-building mission of literature. Also, by creating the possibilities for collaboration within the same literary space for Armenia-based and Diaspora-based writers using Eastern and Western Armenian, their united literary and translational activities have proven that Armenian can also be one of the literary witnesses to the diversity and depth in the life(/lives) and world(s).
Inknagir Literary Club got its name in 2006 from the Inknagir Literary Magazine, but both the name and the organization have a history that pre-dates it.
In 2001, a group of writers took the initiative to create the Bnagir Literary Magazine, which was edited by Violet Grigoryan and Vahram Maritorosyan. In 2002, on Violet Grigoryan’s initiative, literary discussions began to be organized on a weekly basis, every Wednesday. At first, only the material in Bnagir was discussed, but these restrictions were later removed to include other topics from art and society.
Inknagir Literary Club is now a platform that allows the representatives of alternative and contemporary art to both express themselves and develop their ideas through discussions.
Nevertheless, literature continues to be the central topic of discussion at club meetings.
Contemporary art experts, philosophers, writers, critics, and others are regular participants at club meetings.
The club continues to organize discussions and lectures to this day, and the recordings of some of these events are available on YouTube (the most recent lectures include Krikor Beledian’s “Intra – madness and language,” and Marc Nishanian’s “The Subject” (Part 1, Part 2)).
In 2004, Bnagir Magazine published its final issue, No. 9, and closed down.
In 2005, Violet Grigoryan and Vahan Ishkhanyan founded Inknagir Literary Magazine, which took its name from Violet Grigoryan’s show on Kentron TV. The show ended its broadcast period, but gave its name to the magazine. Violet and Vahan had also founded the Center for Free Speech NGO in 2001, which continued to exist and whose most memorable work became the 2004 publication “Retribution – Persecution and Resistance,” a study by Vahan Ishkhanyan and Avetis Babajanyan on political persecutions in 2003-2004. In 2005, the organization was renamed Inknagir Literary Club.
Since 2008, the Inknagir Literary Club has been publishing the Inknagir Literary Magazine. The literary magazine, literary programs, and club have all united in one place. The Inknagir Literary Club has to date published the following: six issues of a print version of the Inknagir Literary Magazine; Emil Cioran’s book “The Trouble with Being Born” translated by Nune Abrahamyan and edited by Marc Nishanian, who also wrote the foreword (2008); Karen Karslyan’s “Damnation” collection of poems (2010); Vahan Ishkhanyan’s “Hairless” collection of stories (2010); Maurice Blanchot’s “Novellas” translated by Marc Nishanian, who also wrote the afterword (2013); Vahan Ishkhanyan’s “Who are they? Muslim, Armenian-speaking Hamshens” media project (2013) which was published a year later as a book; and Louis Aragon’s “Irene’s Cunt” translated by Nazeni Gharibyan(2015), Kathy Acker “Lust” translated by Karen Karslyan(2015). In English, it has published Deviation: Anthology of Contemporary Literature (2008).
The Inknagir website has been operational since 2008 and, in 2015, it became an online literary periodical, updated two or three times a week.