Lusine, a coach at the TUMO Box in Spitak, talks about the movie that is her life, the film strip of which rolls through agriculture, TUMO, the lessons she’s learned from TUMOians, photography, and film itself.
Lusine is a film director. Her favorite movie is Chungking Express, and her favorite director, Wim Wenders. She is sure that her current confident and daring characteristics is thanks to the world of film. “I applied to a few film festivals with my graduate film and received the award for Best Armenian Short Film at the One Shot Short Film Festival.”
Last year, Lusine participated in the Cinema Human Rights and Advocacy by the Global Campus of Human Rights and Picture People summer school in Venice. This coincided with the timing of the Venice Film Festival and Lusine is filled with a particular nostalgia about the films she watched then. “Some days I would watch 2-3 feature length films in one day. For a young filmmaker, taking part in a film-related phenomenon of that caliber is a dream.”
Agriculture is also a part of the movie of Lusine’s life. She loves to grow different plants and vegetables, like tomatoes and basil. “When you witness how a small seed grows and turns into food that later ends up on your plate, it’s quite a feeling.”
TUMO Before TUMO
Lusine learned about TUMO through students’ works she had seen online and could already imagine the kind of work they were doing behind the scenes. It was this curiosity that brought her to TUMO and didn’t allow the Vanadzor-Spitak-Vanadzor commute to hold her back. Lusine finds that for someone who wants to learn or work, external factors (e.g. transportation) are always overcomable.
As a TUMO Coach
When working as a coach at TUMO Lusine feels like a TUMOian, because, like her students, she too discovered TUMO’s numerous learning areas and among them found things she never thought would interest her before. Lusine also appreciates the independence that learning at TUMO allows, because, as she notes “the skill to learn independently, is the most important that someone should have”. Education is a two-way transaction: Lusine teaches her students, and she’s learned from them how to be a good friend. “It’s my favorite moment, when I see how the students’ bond grows stronger over time and how their friendships grow.”
Sometimes, she runs into her students on the bus from Vanadzor to Spitak and this becomes yet another platform to develop her coach-student rapport. For example, with one of the students from the TUMO Box in Spitak, Karen, they captured an epic shot of the cloud of steam rising from a group of people who were drying up after getting soaked by the rain.
Lusine thinks that a coach’s biggest achievement is the student’s excitement and how, with small steps, they create something big; for example, when a student finishes their self-learning prerequisites and starts attending workshops at TUMO Gyumri.
“When I started working in Spitak, I decided to really explore the city, poke around, because I knew nothing about it. In the process, along the path of my photography, I discovered an abandoned area — a soviet camp by the name of “Fairytale”, which was a big discovery for me and unexpectedly beautiful.”
Two Facts No One Knows About Lusine
Lusine’s first job was in a touring theater, where I played a frog in a performance staged for preschool children.
Her favorite pastimes are photography and biking. She hopes to one day travel by bike through all the cities and villages of Armenia.
Lusine envisions how she’ll one day lead a Filmmaking Learning Lab at TUMO, in which TUMOians from other target areas will also take part. For example, students excelling in writing will work on the script, graphic design TUMOians will design the poster, the artists will draw the storyboard, the musicians will be the sound engineers, and so on.