The former garment factory Karifabrika in Dilijan (Armenia) will be transformed into a multifunctional cultural and production hub. Garegin Harutyunyan (GaReggin) and Harutyun Aghabalyan created the first mural in the town as a tribute to the people who worked for many years within the walls sewing production.
The Dilijan textile factory and its adjacent area are planned to be transformed into a modern multi-functional space to host the co-location of enterprises and individuals. The Project is focused on developing small businesses and creative industries with the involvement of Dilijan and Tavush region residents.
The factory’s historic past became the inspiration for the mural. The artists sat down and listened to the stories of people whose lives and work related to this place.
“The uniforms might appear a bit chic, and from different eras; however, we wanted to accentuate the fact that everyday work has had some more significant meaning rather than a workplace. This was obvious from the many stories collected during the interviews.” Garegin
Aside from the uniformed people in the mural, a large, red ball of thread is visible. This ball represents the eternal life cycle – symbolic of the past, present and future of Karifabrika.
Garegin and Harutyun created their art piece on the exterior wall of a building which faces the front elevation of the future culture hub. The building was previously used as an administrative unit, with staff working in shifts into the night. According to the artists, this building suited their plans to create a large mural spanning a three-storey building.
“The team from the future culture cluster greatly welcomed our initiative and supported us in every possible way. We also felt a warm welcome from the neighbours: one supported it technically; another one brought hot tea and told us more stories about the factory and its very lively atmosphere.” Garegin and Harutyun.
The artists hope this initiative will inspire other Armenian artists to create new murals in Dilijan and across the country.
The EU-funded Project is implemented by Dilijan Municipality in partnership (and co-funding) with IDeA Foundation, Tourism and Urbanism Foundation and Dilijan Community Center. The Project has been implemented in the framework of the EU regional “Mayors for Economic Growth” Facility.
On three floors of Karifabrika, with a total area of more than 3,500 sq.m., there will be located: workshops of local manufacturers, a library, showrooms, cafes, coworking, a business incubator, a media lab, a hostel, recreational areas, etc.
The Project aims to enhance economic growth and job creation in the enlarged Dilijan community, stimulate business development, invest in hard and soft infrastructure, and explore new business opportunities that can have a catalytic and systemic effect.