Hovannisian’s Barev-olution

American born Garin Hovannisian writes in The Atlantic about his father’s 2013 presidential bid in Armenia:

Political experts offered ideas about what our strategy ought to be: exude power and confidence in victory. Dress your candidate in the finest suits. Surround him with bodyguards. No more stops in villages to plant trees and such. The Soviet psychology doesn’t respond to Western notions of childish compassion—only to fear, to power, to reality.

What these experts didn’t consider was that my father had no concern for reality. He would be campaigning against reality itself. He wanted to displace not just a president but also the entire culture of fear and cynicism that had taken root in his land. As his director of publicity, I wasn’t planning to run a political campaign, either. I wanted to present my father as a living embodiment of what it meant to be an Armenian—noble, defiant, emotional, even self-contradicting. We were determined, in short, to run a campaign of complete fiction: the first literary presidential race in history.


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