FIRST ARMENIAN GENOCIDE CENTENNIAL EVENT IN THE USA TO TAKE PLACE IN SOUTH FLORIDA
23:01, 16 Jan 2015
The first official event in the USA that will mark the 100th
commemoration of the Armenian Genocide will be held on the evening of
Saturday, January 24 at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) when local
non-profit organization Armenian Genocide Commemoration, Inc. (AGC)
brings Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston (SNDC) to Boca Raton for
a one-night-only performance. SNDC takes its name from the famous
18th century troubadour, Sayat Nova, whose beautiful music and poetry
captures the essence of the Armenian soul and spirit. As part of a rich
culture, Armenian dancing is a reflection of the life and legacy of the
Armenian people. Each dance symbolizes the livelihood, the aspirations,
the legends, the celebration of life and appreciation of beauty. The
SNDC's mission is to preserve and promote the Armenian culture, to
foster an atmosphere of friendship among individuals sharing the pride
and indomitable spirit of the Armenian people, and to further educate
and elevate multicultural awareness within all ethnic communities
worldwide. Their newest choreography was designed specifically for the
genocide centennial commemorations that will be taking place this year.
"The program displays the evolution of Armenian history depicted by
dance, music, poetry and storytelling," said Garen Avetissyan, the
group's general manager. "The production takes you on a journey through
pagan times, the adoption of Christianity, the battle of Vartanantz,
the cultural Renaissance, the massacres of the Genocide, to an ultimate
celebration of an independent Armenia. You will experience triumph and
despair, sorrow and exuberance as you watch Armenian history come to
life. The show combines classical and avant-garde movement to evoke
the power of Armenian culture."
This year, Armenians around the world will commemorate 100 years since
the genocide that began on April 24, 1915 when Turkish authorities
arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in
Constantinople. Thereafter, Armenians were uprooted from their homes
and forced to march for hundreds of miles, depriving them of food and
water, to the desert of what is now Syria. Over 1.5 million Armenian
men, women and children perished between 1915 and 1923 in what
historians recognize as the Armenian Genocide. While 23 countries
have officially recognized the events of the period as genocide,
Turkey denies the word genocide as an accurate description of the
events. In recent years, it has faced repeated calls to accept the
events as genocide, but has refused to do so.
Since the Armenian Genocide, genocide has continued to occur. Greeks,
Assyrians, Ukrainians, European Jews, Cambodians, Rwandans and those
in Darfur have all seen genocide take their people from them. Funds
raised by Sayat Nova's performance will go towards maintaining and
expanding genocide awareness and education in Palm Beach, Broward,
and Miami-Dade counties.
(2015) Armenian Genocide Commemorations List 2015
Posted 17 January 2015 - 10:58 AM
FIRST ARMENIAN GENOCIDE CENTENNIAL EVENT IN THE USA TO TAKE PLACE IN SOUTH FLORIDA
Posted 17 January 2015 - 11:25 AM
STUDENTS BEGIN EVENTS IN MEMORY OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Glendale News Press, CA
Jan 15 2015
A 100-year-old survivor of the Armenian Genocide appears at Glendale
Unified board room.
By Kelly Corrigan, firstname.lastname@example.org
January 15, 2015 | 8:13 p.m.
In the presence of an Armenian Genocide survivor, Glendale students on
Wednesday night kicked off commemoration events in a continued effort
to honor those lost in the genocide and have the tragedy officially
recognized by the Turkish government.
>From 1915 to 1918, the Ottoman Turks killed an estimated 1.5 million
Armenians, and its occurrence is still denied by modern-day Turkey.
On Tuesday night in the Glendale Unified board room, several students
belonging to the Armenian clubs at Glendale's four high schools vowed
to fight for recognition.
"When our ancestors were so brutally massacred, they couldn't lean on
anyone else... they persevered and they survived, and they made sure
that their culture and their stories lived on to future generations,"
said Mary Agajanian, a senior at Clark Magnet High School.
"The same perseverance that allowed those Armenians to survive the
genocide 100 years ago now flows in our veins. We are their blood,
and we will not stop until we have achieved the recognition they
deserve," she added.
Fellow student Ara Mandjikian, a junior at Crescenta Valley High
School, said today's young people must forge ahead.
"We have to be motivated by our obligation to honor and promote our
culture publicly and privately," he said. "The end of these 100 years
is the beginning of the next, so let us make a name for ourselves in
this world. Not for any other reason than our personal duty to uphold
our nation above ourselves."
In their presence was 100-year-old Armenian Genocide survivor Madeleine
Salibian, a Glendale resident and mother of Clark Magnet High School
counselor Susan Howe.
Salibian, born in Aintab, now known as Gaziantep, Turkey, was only
a few months old when her father's Turkish friend ushered her family
to safety by giving them his donkeys to escape.
"A friend of my father who was Turkish -- he loved him so much that
when he heard that we were there, he came by midnight and took us
out to his home," Salibian said. "He kept us there, and the next day,
he gave us three donkeys."
The family traveled on the donkeys until they reached Syria, settling
in a rural village, and eventually, Aleppo.
Also on Tuesday, Greg Krikorian, president of the Glendale Unified
school board, shared his grandmother's story of survival, and her
harrowing experience losing her family and watching her father die.
"The last day I know my grandmother saw her father on was on the
horse they hung him on. Picture your kids going through that and
knowing that she was only one of 13 children left, that she lost all
12 brothers and sisters," Krikorian said. "She came to Cleveland,
Ohio, all by herself, at 8 years of age."
Commemorating the Armenian Genocide each year has been an important
focus for school officials and students, who produce an assembly each
April that draws hundreds of people to Glendale High School.
Over the next few months, students will also be writing essays and
creating art projects to commemorate the genocide, leading up to a
student-produced assembly at Glendale High School on April 21. The
100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be on April 24.
"It's very important, being the educational branch, that we do a good
job of educating, not only our students, but also our community,"
said Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan.
Posted 18 January 2015 - 09:18 AM
National Association for Armenian
Studies and Research (NAASR)
395 Concord Avenue
Belmont, MA 02478
HENRY THERIAULT TO DISCUSS ISSUE OF GENOCIDE REPARATIONS IN NAASR LECTURE
Prof. Henry Theriault of Worcester State University will present a
talk entitled " 'Resolution with Justice': Reparations for the
Armenian Genocide Considered," on Thursday, February 12, 2015, at 7:30
p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research
(NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478.
In recent years, the issue of reparations for the Armenian Genocide
has gone from being a marginal concern to a central focus in popular
and academic circles. Most of the efforts to date have been in the
form of piecemeal individual reparation cases. But what are the
possibilities and limitations of pursuing broader reparations?
Dr. Henry Theriault chaired the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study
Group that in fall 2014 published its report Resolution with Justice:
Reparations for the Armenian Genocide. The report attempts to provide
analysis and recommendations that would lead to steps toward a larger
process of reparation for the extensive outstanding damages of the
Genocide than has previously been undertaken. At the centenary of the
Armenian Genocide, with a gradual increase in genuine, non-denialist
engagement with the Genocide in Turkey, and with the emergence of a
global reparations movement involving numerous human rights violations
and victim groups, it is an appropriate time to take a serious look at
a long-neglected topic.
Henry Theriault is Professor in and Chair of the Philosophy Department
at Worcester State. His research focuses on reparations,
victim-perpetrator relations, genocide denial, genocide prevention,
and mass violence against women and girls. He has published numerous
journal articles and chapters in the area of genocide studies and was
recently named co-editor of Transaction Publishers' Genocide: A
Critical Bibliographic Review book series. From 2007 to 2012 he
served as co-editor of Genocide Studies and Prevention, and was guest
editor of the International Criminal Law Review special issue on
"Armenian Genocide Reparations" (2014), and the Armenian Review
special issue on the "New Global Reparations Movement" (2012). His
autobiographical article, "Out of the Shadow of War and Genocide," is
one of fifteen featured in the forthcoming Scholars of Genocide
Studies: New Generations.
Copies of the report Resolution with Justice: Reparations for the
Armenian Genocide will be available the night of the lecture.
For more information about Dr. Theriault's talk contact NAASR at
January 16, 2015
Posted 18 January 2015 - 09:45 AM
Jan 16 2015
National Prayer Breakfast 2015 Preview: Remembering Armenian Genocide Of 1915
By Isaiah Narciso
The theme for this year's National Prayer Breakfast, which is on Feb.
5 this year in Washington, will focus on the 100th anniversary of the
The annual event, which takes place at the Washington Hilton in the
nation's capital, is organized by the Fellowship Foundation, a
conservative Christian group, and hosted by the United States
Congress. According to Azbarez Newspaper, attorney Ben Smith spoke to
Public Radio of Armenia about the yearly event, which is held on the
first Thursday of February each year, focusing on the Armenian
Genocide of 1915.
"We've brought greetings and letters from our leaders in the U.S. to
encourage the leadership in Armenia to participate in the
commemorations set up Washington," Smith said.
According to the official website of Fellowship Foundation, the
tradition started in 1953, when members of Congress invited President
Dwight D. Eisenhower to join them for a fellowship breakfast "in the
spirit of Jesus."
"Because of the warm environment of that first gathering, the
breakfast has continued each year, hosted and directed by members of
the prayer groups in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of
Representatives," the organization wrote. "Annually, the House and
Senate groups take turns inviting people from every state and many
nations to join with the President of the United States for this
special time of fellowship and prayer together."
The organization added that the breakfast has a typical attendance of
"more than 3,000 people of all races, cultures and faith traditions."
According to Smith, the National Prayer Breakfast was started "in an
effort to bring leaders from both parties together at least for one
day to focus on prayer and the principles of Jesus so that they could
dispel their different points of view and their arguments."
"They actually focus one day on spiritual principles," Smith said.
Smith told Public Radio of Armenia that the Fellowship Foundation is
working with various Armenian communities in the United States to
recognize and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian
"Three years ago I was part of the commemoration in Aleppo, Syria, and
it was really powerful," Smith said.
As for the politics behind the issue, Smith commented on that aspect,
noting he had no power to deal with it.
"I think most people in the U.S. recognize and want it recognized,"
Smith said. "I can't say to what extend and when President Obama will
do that, but I'm confident most of the Americans are aware of the
Christopher Atamian of the Huffington Post elaborated on the events
surrounding the Armenian Genocide, which happened back in 1915.
"Armenian intellectuals of the Ottoman Empire were rounded up in the
dead of night and sent to be executed in inland concentration camps in
Ayash and Chankari," Atamian wrote. "This event followed on nearly two
decades of ethnic cleansing and pogroms against Armenians that
included the murder of some 300,000 Armenians by Sultan Abdul Hamid in
1896 and 30,000 killed during the Adana Massacre in 1909."
Atamian noted that the Ottoman Empire, which is now the modern-day
country of Turkey, nearly wiped out its entire Christian population
through these crimes against humanity.
"Christians were rounded up and locked inside churches that were set
on fire and burned alive or thrown into caves with sulfur thrown on
top of them and cremated in primitive gas chambers," Atamian wrote.
"The Turks, aided and abetted by their ally, the German Kaiser, seized
Christian properties and bank accounts, raped and enslaved women and
children and forced thousands to convert to Islam under pain of
Although Turkey's government has refused to apologize to the Armenians
about the scale of human depravity exercised back in 1915 in the days
of the Ottoman Empire, Atamian noted that the "Jews of the Caucasus"
have managed to rebuild and thrive in both the former Soviet Union and
modern, independent Armenia. He tried to explain the reasons behind
the Armenian Genocide, which included "a surreal mix of ethnic and
"The Armenian Amira class, for example, ran everything from the state
mint to the bread factories and most of the empire's industry, while
the Greeks and Levantines were the most successful diplomats and
merchants as well," Atamian wrote.
On a lighter note, Smith elaborated on his first visit to Armenia. He
told Public Radio of Armenia that he was impressed by the country's
people, history and culture.
"I think Armenia is really a well-kept secret," Smith said. "This
would be a great place for tourism. And if American people knew more
about it, and knew about the beauty of the country, they would be
Smith's trip, according to Public Radio of Armenia, included a visit
with His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All
Armenians. They discussed the invitation to join President Barack
Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.
"I'm very grateful to the leadership and the church, we were
graciously received," Smith said. "We intend to come back as soon as
The National Prayer Breakfast will be aired Feb. 5 on C-SPAN.
Posted 19 January 2015 - 09:30 AM
Paul Krekorian Announces Art Contest to Commemorate Genocide Centennial
Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
Art Contest submission begin NOW
Call for Submissions Begin NOW
LOS ANGELES- Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian on Tuesday
announced an Art Contest to commemorate the upcoming April 2015
centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
The call for submissions invites all artists and aspiring artists to
produce and present original paintings, drawings, photos and digital
art inspired by the 100th anniversary of the genocide. The submission
deadline is Feb. 15.
PRIZE: The winning artwork will be displayed on Los Angeles Dept. of
Transportation buses for one month.
`Art has always been central to the Armenian community,' said Paul
Krekorian. `This contest is a way to honor the history of the genocide
and to highlight the promise of our future. I hope artists and
students who care about human rights will participate and help
commemorate the Armenian people's resilience.'
Suggested Themes For Centennial Art
Art Contest Rules
Submission Deadline: Feb. 15, 2015
Limit of one submission per person.
Must be original, unpublished art inspired by the 100th anniversary of
the Armenian Genocide.
Paintings, drawings, photos and digital art accepted. No sculpture or
large format pieces.
Send art to Councilmember Krekorian: 200 N. Spring St., Room 435, Los
Angeles, CA 90012
Email digital art or photos of art to: Councilmember.Krekorian@lacity.org
Additional submission guidelines will be posted at cd2.lacity.org
Please include your name, address, contact information and title of your work.
A 8.5Ã - 14³ poster advertising the contest is attached to this email.
Twitter hashtag to use is #CentennialArt.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, is chairman of the
Budget and Finance Committee, and represents Council District 2, which
includes North Hollywood, Studio City, Valley Village and other
communities in the east San Fernando Valley. In 2009, Krekorian became
the first Armenian-American to be elected to the City Council.
Posted 20 January 2015 - 11:13 AM
Zuart Sudjian Sues Turkey to Reclaim
Her Family Lands -- Diyarbakir Airport
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Armenians are in the process of organizing thousands of events all
over the world to commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
These events aim to remind the world about the mass atrocities
committed by Ottoman Turkey from 1915 to 1923 with the expectation
that the international community would compel the Turkish government
to face its sordid past and restore the rights of genocide
There is, however, a faster and more efficient way -- legal action --
to accomplish this honorable objective. In recent years, several
Armenian-American lawyers have filed class action lawsuits with some
success against insurance companies in US Federal Courts. Various
other lawsuits are still pending.
On the eve of the Centennial, both the Armenian government and some
Diaspora groups are considering the possibility of filing lawsuits
against Turkey in international courts. However, such serious legal
action should only be undertaken by international law experts and not
by well-meaning Armenian individuals or community groups. If
mishandled, these lawsuits could have a lasting devastating effect on
legitimate Armenian demands from Turkey.
Last September, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of
Cilicia announced that he was planning to file a lawsuit in Turkey to
reclaim church properties owned by the Catholicosate in Sis, Cilicia,
prior to the Genocide. Should the Turkish court reject this lawsuit,
the Catholicosate of Cilicia would then appeal the ruling to the
European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Recently, the Turkish press reported that Armenian-American Zuart
Sudjian had filed a lawsuit reclaiming the land that had belonged to
her mother's family -- the Basmajians -- on which Diyarbakir Airport
I spoke with the 94-year-old Mrs. Sudjian in New York (not in
California as reported by the Turkish press), who told me that after
being forced to leave Diyarbakir following the Armenian Genocide, her
family first moved to Lebanon, then Cuba (not Korea) and finally
settled in the United States.
Sudjian family's property was expropriated by the Turkish government
in 1967, after putting an announcement in a local newspaper and
claiming that the owners could not be found.
Several years ago, Sudjian's attorney Ali Elbeyoglu filed a lawsuit on
her behalf in Turkey seeking the return of her inheritance. The court
turned down her request in April 2013, claiming that the 10-year
statute of limitation had expired. The Court of Appeals reversed the
lower court's ruling and demanded a rehearing of the case, affirming
that Sudjian could not have been aware of the legal announcement
placed in a local Diyarbakir newspaper prior to the property's
confiscation. At a minimum, the Court declared that the ad should have
been placed in a Turkish paper with nationwide circulation.
Attorney Elbeyoglu explained that the confiscation of Sudjian's
property violated the protection of private property rights as defined
by the European Convention of Human Rights.
Even if Sudjian were to win her lawsuit, it is unlikely that the
Turkish government would return the very valuable land worth tens of
millions of dollars on which Diyarbakir's military and civilian
airports are located. That was the reason her lawyer told Milliyet
newspaper that Sudjian was seeking compensation only for the value of
her family's property.
Lawyer Elbeyoglu also told Milliyet that winning Sudjian's case would
open the door for many more such cases. Significantly, the Turkish
newspaper subtitled its article, `Hope for the Diaspora.'
The Turkish media failed to point out that if the Court of Appeals
ruled against Sudjian's claim, she could then take her case to the
European Court of Human Rights. A positive ruling from ECHR would open
the floodgates of lawsuits by Armenians worldwide whose ancestors had
properties that were confiscated by the Turkish government during the
There are countless other valuable properties in Turkey that were
confiscated from Armenians, including:
-- The Presidential Palace in Ankara, until recently occupied by
Erdogan and previous Turkish presidents, is located on land owned by
the Kassabian family.
-- Istanbul's Ataturk Airport is partly built on land owned by the
Kevork Sarian family from Van.
-- The US Air Base at Injirlik is located on land owned by several
Armenian families who have filed a lawsuit in US Federal Court against
the Turkish government.
These properties and thousands of others should be returned to their
rightful owners as partial restitutive justice Turkey owes to the
- MosJan likes this
Posted 22 January 2015 - 10:33 AM
15:22 22/01/2015 » SOCIETY
Uruguay’s President to join Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee
The President of Uruguay Jose Mujica on Wednesday met with representatives of civil and religious organization from the Armenian community in South America, who are preparing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Asbarez reports.
During the meeting President Mujika highlighted the contribution of Uruguayan citizens of Armenian descent and recalled that “Uruguay was the first to recognize the Armenian Genocide.”
Referring to countries who refuse to recognize the crime, the President said: “recognition of the Armenian Genocide is one of the pending cases facing our poor humanity.”
“Solution of this painful issue might be prevented by state interests. However, the least Turkey can do today is face the dark pages of its history and accept the atrocities committed,” the outgoing leader stressed.
Mujica accepted an invitation by the Armenian community to join the Committee to Commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide as an honorable member, once he leaves office on March 1, 2015.
“We cannot change the past, but we have to learn from it and recognize the atrocities that men have perpetrated to avoid such crimes in the future,” Mujica said.
He stressed the importance of learning to live together, to tolerate and “understand that we cannot live if we fail to respect diversity in the world.”
Posted 22 January 2015 - 10:34 AM
15:14 22/01/2015 » SOCIETY
Hollande to attend Armenian Genocide commemoration event in Paris
The Co-ordination Council of Armenian Organisations of France will hold its annual supper in Paris on January 28. French President Francois Hollande will attend the event, Nouvelles d'Arménie reports.
The official launch of the program, titled “2015: 100th Anniversary of the Genocide,” will be announced during the event.
French schools will commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide on January 27.
Posted 22 January 2015 - 10:50 AM
Hammer Museum, Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
January 21, 2015
The Hammer Museum to Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide-Film Series, I Am Armenian, begins January 28, 2015-
-Hammer Forum, The Armenian Genocide, on February 11, 2015-
Above images (left to right): Mount Ararat, photo by James Gordon;
Calendar (1993, Dir. A. Egoyan, 74 min);
A Lark Farm (La Masseria Delle Allodole) (2010, Dir. P. & V. Taviani,
Los Angeles- Throughout 2015, the Hammer Museum will commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the Armenian genocide with a yearlong film series, I Am
Armenian: A Year of Armenian Culture and History on Film, and a Hammer
Forum discussion, The Armenian Genocide: A Century of Denial. The year
will be dedicated to exploring the many facets of Armenian culture, history
and landscape beginning with the screening of Calendar (1993) on
Wednesday, January 28, at 7:30 p.m.
Attending a Hammer public program is free and tickets will be available on
site at the Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theater Box Office one hour before
the program begins. More information about admission is below and online at
Announced Films: Calendar Wednesday, January 28, 7:30 p.m.
A photographer traveling in Armenia for a calendar project realizes that
his wife, an Armenian translator, is falling in love with their driver and
unofficial tour guide. The Academy Award-nominated director, Atom Egoyan (The
Sweet Hereafter), reveals the unraveling of a marriage through a series of
flash-forwards. (1993, Dir. A. Egoyan, 74 min.) Q&A with Dr. Carla
Garapedian and Robert Lantos, producer of Ararat, to follow.
The Lark Farm (La Masseria Delle Allodole)
Wednesday, February 4, 7:30 p.m.
An Armenian family becomes caught up in the Ottoman Turkish government's
annihilation of the Armenian people between 1915 and 1923. This Italian
film by brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani is adapted from the
best-selling novel by Antonia Arslan. (2007, Dir. P. & V. Taviani, 122
min.) Q&A with Dr. Carla Garapedian and Dr. Siobhan Nash-Marshall to follow.
Wednesday, March 25, 7:30 p.m.
The 1919 silent film Ravished Armenia tells the incredible story of
Aurora Mardiganian, an Armenian girl caught up in the 1915 Armenian
Genocide. After witnessing the murder of her family, Aurora was kidnapped,
forced to march over fourteen hundred miles and sold into slavery before
finally escaping to Europe and then the U.S.. Her story was the basis for a
hugely popular book and film, starring Aurora herself, which was seen by
thousands of people around the world. Filmmaker Carla Garapedian, from the
Armenian Film Foundation, and Anthony Slide, author of `Ravished Armenia
and the Story of Aurora Mardiganian' and former film historian of the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, bring Aurora's story to life
with rare film clips and photos.
Aghet - Ein Völkermord
Tuesday, April 14, 7:30 p.m.
The prizewinning film Aghet (Armenian for "the catastrophe") by acclaimed
German filmmaker Eric Friedler tells the story of the Armenian genocide,
one of the darkest chapters of the First World War. Though there is an
international consensus that up to 1.5 million Armenians died in the
Ottoman Turkish Empire, the Armenian genocide is still not recognized by
Turkey as a historical fact. Aghet deals with the political motives for
this continuing silence. This innovative German documentary relies on
authentic testimonies by European and American personnel stationed in the
Near East at the time and Armenian survivors. Famous German actors give
these eyewitnesses finally the opportunity to make their voices heard.
(2010, Dir. E. Friedler, 90 min.) Director Eric Friedler joins us for a
discussion following the screening.
Upcoming 2015 Screenings (dates and information to be announced):
- The River Ran Red
- The Color of Pomegranates
- Without Gorky
- The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia
- Vodka Lemon
- Silk Stockings
- A Story of People in War and Peace
Hammer Forum: The Armenian Genocide: A Century of Denial
Wednesday, February 11, 7:30 p.m.
Armenians and human rights advocates around the world commemorate the 100th
anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide, in which an
estimated 1.5 million people were killed between 1915 and 1923. Richard
Hovannisian, a professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History at
UCLA, and David
L. Phillips, director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at Columbia
University, offer an in-depth look at the Turkish refusal to recognize the
genocide and efforts to foster dialogue and reconciliation between Turks
and Armenians. Hammer Forum is moderated by Ian Masters, journalist,
author, screenwriter, documentary filmmaker and host of the radio
Briefing, Sundays at 11 a.m., and The Daily Briefing, Monday through
Thursday at 5 p.m., on KPFK 90.7 FM.
Hammer Forum is made possible in part by Bronya and Andrew Galef.
Hammer Presents: Honoring the Armenian Masters
Sunday, April 19, 2:00 p.m.
Co-presented by the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Members of the Armenian Music Ensemble at UCLA and the VEM String Quartet
present a chamber music program of masterworks by Armenian classical music
in commemoration of the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
ABOUT HAMMER PUBLIC PROGRAMSAll Hammer public programs are free. Tickets
for assigned seating in the Billy Wilder Theater are required and available
at the Box Office one hour before each program. Early arrival is
recommended. Tickets are available one per person on a first come, first
As a benefit for their support, members enjoy priority ticketing and seat
selection, subject to availability.
Parking is available under the museum for a flat fee of $3 after 6PM.
All Hammer public programs are free and made possible by a major gift from
the Dream Fund at UCLA.Generous support is also provided by Susan Bay Nimoy
and Leonard Nimoy, Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley, an anonymous
donor, and all Hammer members.
HAMMER MUSEUM INFORMATION
Admission to all exhibitions and programs at the Hammer Museum is free and
open to the public. Visit www.hammer.ucla.edu for current exhibition and
program information and call 310-443-7041 for tours.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am=80`5pm. Closed Mondays
and national holidays. The Hammer is located at 10899 Wilshire Boulevard in
Westwood, Los Angeles. Parking is available onsite for $3 (maximum 3 hours)
or for a $3 flat rate after 6pm.
Posted 22 January 2015 - 11:09 AM
Cengiz Aktar: The Armenian genocide is the Great Catastrophe of Anatolia
January 21, 2015
Cengiz Aktar is a Turkish political scientist, journalist and writer.
He has published numerous books on the European Union and its
relations with Turkey. He worked for the United Nations and European
Union. He was part of a campaign calling for an apology of the Turks
towards the Armenians for the Armenian Genocide.
Who knows, all the evil haunting us, the endless mass killings and our
inability to recover from afflictions may be due to a century-old
curse and a century-old lie. What do you think? This is perhaps the
malediction uttered by Armenians -- children, civilian women and men
alike -- who died moaning and buried without a coffin. It may be the
storms created in our souls by the still-agonizing specters of all our
ill-fated citizens, including Greeks and Syriacs and later, Alevis and
Perhaps the massacres that have not been accounted for since 1915 and
the `prices' that have remained unpaid are now being paid back in
different venues by the grandchildren. The curses uttered in return
for the lives taken, the lives stolen, the homes plundered, the
churches destroyed, the schools confiscated and the property
extorted... "May God make you pay for it for all your offspring to
come." Are we paying back the price of all the injustices committed so
far? Does repayment manifest itself in the form of the audacity of
being unable to confront our past sins or in the form of indecency,
which has become our habit due to our chronic indulgence in
unfairness? It seems as if our society has been decaying for a
century, festering all around.
Despite this century-old malediction, 2015 will pass with the debate,
"Was there really genocide?" remaining unanswered. We will watch how
the current tenants of the state exert vast efforts to cover up this
shame and postpone any move to confront it. If it were in their hands,
they would just skip the year 2015. The denialist prose that consists
of three wizened arguments, which amount to upheaval, collaboration
with the enemy and victimization -- it is the Armenians who killed us
-- will continue to be parroted in a series of conferences. And we
will dance to our own tunes. On April 24-25, 2015 an official ceremony
will be held on the occasion of Anzac Day in Gallipoli, not in
connection with the genocide. And we will hear abundant tales about
heroism in the Dardanelles. But we will find none to listen to our
How many more maledictions need to happen to us before we will be inclined:
- To reckon with our bloody nation-building process?
- To know and remember how an innocuous, hardworking, productive,
talented and peaceful people were destroyed by the warrior people of
Anatolia and to empathize with their grandchildren in remembrance?
- To feel the gist of the tyranny that made unfortunate Armenians cry,
"Ur eir Astvadz" (Where were you God?) in the summer of 1915, which
was as dark and cold as death?
- To realize that the population of Armenians has dwindled from
millions in 1915's Ottoman Empire to virtually none today. The
remaining Armenians have either concealed their true identities or
were converted to Islam, after sweeping aside the puzzle, "Was it
genocide or not?" or the question "Who killed whom?" and purely
listening to our conscience?
- To understand, as Hrant Dink put it, a full-fledged cultural
genocide and the loss of a tremendous amount of civilization?
- To realize that the biggest loss to this country is that non-Muslim
citizens of this land no longer live here?
- To comprehend why the genocide -- which Armenians of those dark days
would refer to as the Great Catastrophe (Meds Yeghern) -- is a
disaster that befell not only Armenians, but the entire country?
- To see that the loss of our non-Muslim citizens who were killed,
banished or forced to flee amounts to the loss of brainpower,
bourgeoisie, culture and civilization?
- To calculate the curse of the goods, property and children confiscated?
- To duly understand the wisdom of the author YaÅ?ar Kemal, who wrote:
"Another bird cannot prosper in an abandoned nest; the one who
destroys a nest cannot have a nest; oppression breeds oppression"?
- To even realize that those who would reject all the aforementioned
points would do so because of a loss wisdom deriving from the
The Armenian genocide is the Great Catastrophe of Anatolia, and the
mother of all taboos in this land. Its curse will continue to haunt us
as long as we fail to talk about, recognize, understand and reckon
with it. Its centennial anniversary actually offers us a historic
opportunity to dispense with our habits, understand the Other and
start with the collective therapy.
Posted 23 January 2015 - 10:20 AM
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE VICTIMS MEMORIAL TO BE INSTALLED IN LAS VEGAS
January 22, 2015 - 18:21 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Clark County accepted a donated memorial to the
1915 Armenian Genocide, which will be built in Sunset Park, KNPR
Design, construction and installation costs put the entire project at
about $120,000, and all of it will be paid by the Armenian American
County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow said the monument will not open
the door to dozens of other privately funded memorials.
"We had probably fifty people representing the Armenian community
that came to several of our commission meetings requesting this,"
Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow said, "We felt that this
did rise to the level of something that would dignify the monument,
but we did want to be careful that we are not opening the doors to
everything and anything."
This proposal rose to that level for the commission because it serves
as an important reminder of historic events no one wants repeated.
"2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, where a
million and a half Armenians were killed during World War I," said Andy
Armenian, a board member of an Armenian American Society of Las Vegas.
Every year on April 24 thousands of Armenian Americans gather to
commemorate the horrific time, which was carried out by leaders of
the Ottoman Empire. Besides those who were killed, thousands of people
were deported and put into concentration camps.
"The monument will serve as a destination to reflect and place some
memorial flowers," Armenian said.
The Armenian American Society hopes to have the project completed in
about a year.
Posted 23 January 2015 - 10:48 AM
CSUN TO HOST CONFERENCE ON ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
US Official News
January 21, 2015 Wednesday
California State University, Northridge has issued the following
California State University, Northridge's Armenian Studies Program
will host a one-day conference from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday,
Jan, 31, in the Grand Salon at the University Student Union.
"The Armenian Genocide: Accounting and Accountability" is dedicated
to the generations of 1915 and 2015 as a part of the United Armenian
Council of Los Angeles' Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemorative
"The significance of hosting the conference at CSUN is three-fold,"
said Vahram Shemmassian, director of CSUN's Armenian Studies
program within the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and
Literatures. "CSUN has the largest number of students of Armenian
background outside of Armenia, as far as four-year universities are
concerned. The greater Los Angeles area is home to the second-largest
community of the worldwide Armenian diaspora. Lastly, the conference
also aims to further expose CSUN to the Armenian community at large,
hopefully attracting more friends and supporters as a result."
The morning session will include two panels. The first panel, "Language
as a Victim," will be moderated by Hagop Gulludjian and will feature
the following speakers and topics: Vartan Matiossian, "Pleading no
Context: On Uses and Abuses of the Word Yeghern;" professor Barlow
Der Mugrdechian, "Western Armenian Language and Literature in Exile:
Genocide and Its Consequences;" and Shushan Karapetian, "The Burden
of Language as a Moral Obligation."
The second panel will explore "Teaching Genocide," with Rubina
Peroomian moderating. Hasmig Baran will talk about "Content and
Pedagogy of Genocide Education in the 21st Century: The Armenian Case";
Roxanne Makasdjian will talk about "Armenian Genocide Education in
Secondary Schools Today;" and Kori Street will talk about "Educating
for Change: Using Testimonies in Teaching about Genocide."
Third and fourth panels will be held in the afternoon session.
Levon Marashlian will moderate the third panel, "Those Who Were Forced
to Assimilate." It will feature the following speakers and subjects:
Khatchig Mouradian on "Un-Hiding the Past: Myth-Making and the 'Hidden
Armenians' of Turkey;" Elyse Semerdjian on "'The Girl with the Cross
Tattoo:' Field Notes on Crypto-Armenians;" and Vahram Shemmassian on
"The Fate of Captive Armenian Genocide Survivors in Syria."
The Armenian Bar Association will conduct the fourth panel, titled
"Legal Responses to Genocide-Related Liabilities." Garo Ghazarian will
introduce the panelists. Armen K. Hovannisian will moderate the panel.
The speakers and their topics include: Saro Kerkonian on "Justice
for Genocide: Opportunities and Challenges in United States Courts;"
Edvin Minassian on "Justice for Genocide: Opportunities and Challenges
in Turkey's Courts;" and Karnig Kerkonian on "Justice for Genocide:
Opportunities and Challenges in International Courts." The conference
will conclude with a commentary by Richard G. Hovannisian.
The Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
at CSUN is co-sponsoring the event, along with the United Armenian
Council of Los Angeles, the National Association for Armenian Studies
and Research, The Knights of Vartan - Los Angeles County Chapters,
the Armenian Bar Association and the Armenian General Benevolent Union.
The Ararat-Eskijian Museum of Mission Hills will exhibit American
Near East Relief posters during the conference.
The nearest parking lot to the University Student Union is G3 on
Prairie Street (on campus) at Zelzah Avenue, near Nordhoff Street.
Parking permits ($6) can be obtained at the information booth or via
machines. For further information, please contact Vahram Shemmassian
at email@example.com or (818) 677-3456.
Posted 23 January 2015 - 10:59 AM
FRENCH MAGAZINE "L'HISTOIRE" DEVOTES 50 PAGES TO ARMENIA
16:38, 23 Jan 2015
Series of expanded articles of 50 pages, titled "Armenians: first
genocide of the 20th century" were published in February's edition
of the leading French magazine "l'Histoire," dedicated to 100th
anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Pieces on the Armenian Genocide by researches and historians, that
come along with infographics and documentary scenes, are presented
on the pages of the magazine.
An expanded article by French Armenian historian Raymond Harutyun
Kevorkian titled "Scenario of one annihilation" presents the scenario
of a crime committed against the Armenians, analyzing facts of
intention, plan, order stages of implementation, consequences, as
well as maps of massacres and deportation.
In an interview with Director of National Center for Scientific
Research of France Francois Georgeon "l'Histoire" magazine reveals the
role by the Armenian community in Ottoman Empire before the Genocide.
An interview with prominent genocide scholar Yves Ternon is dedicated
to the awakening of the memory of the Armenian Genocide generations
later, since 1950s.
Other articles present the current image of Diaspora, Armenophils
movement headed by Jean Jaurès, as well as the raise of the Genocide
recognition issue by Turkish intellectuals over the past years,
including Taner Akcam's article, titled "Why Turkey does not open
Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:03 AM
ARA PAPYAN SAYS SEIZURE OF ARMENIANS' LANDS WAS MAIN PURPOSE OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
15:18, 23 January, 2015
YEREVAN, 23 JANUARY, ARMENPRESS. Seizure of the homeland of the
Armenians was the main purpose of the Armenian Genocide, and on
that occasion, Armenia must raise that issue, as well as the issue
related to the territory of the Republic of Armenia, the territory
which, by legal documents, has been recognized as legally a part of
Armenia and is still seized by Turkey. This is what Head of Modus
Vivendi analytical center Ara Papyan said during a January 23 press
conference, as "Armenpress" reports. "Armenian-Turkish relations
don't exist. Turkey is hostile. If Turkey had a chance to eliminate
the Armenian State without any negative consequences for Turkey
tomorrow, it would do it. If Armenia raises the issue that Turkey
is occupying Armenia, the world would change its attitude towards
Turkey," Ara Papyan said, adding that the 100th anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide should have become an opportunity for Armenians to
state their claims and reestablish their rights.
According to the political scientist, Armenians need to explain to
the international community that their goal is not recognition of
the Armenian Genocide, but acceptance of the consequences of the
Genocide that continue to have an impact on Armenia since our lands
and resources were taken away and people were killed.
Posted 24 January 2015 - 11:51 AM
ANCA-WR'S 'AMERICA WE THANK YOU' INSPIRES ARMENIAN STUDENTS TO PAY IT FORWARD
Friday, January 23rd, 2015
Merdinian students leading their schoolmates in the 'Golden Rule
Prayer' written over 90 years ago to bless the 'Orphan Meal' they
GLENDALE--The Armenian National Committee of America Western-Region
(ANCA-WR) initiative "America We Thank You" (AWTY) launched an
educational tour throughout Armenian schools in California on Dec. 2,
the 91st anniversary of the Near East Relief's (NER) first "Golden
Rule Sunday" dinner wherein Americans were encouraged to eat a simple
meal--namely staple menus served in orphanages--and graciously donated
the money they saved to the relief efforts through which over 132,000
Armenian Genocide orphans were rescued and rehabilitated.
Most recently, on Dec. 8 and Jan. 21 respectively, 4th through 6th
graders at Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School and 9th through
12th graders at AGBU Vatche & Tamar Manoukian High School joined
the over 1,000 Armenian students who have since not only learned
about the legacy of NER, the United States' first congressionally
sanctioned non-governmental organization that mobilized all facets of
the American citizenry to respond to pleas for help from Armenians half
a world away, but are now among the students who have also honored the
tradition of the "Golden Rule Dinner" by substituting their regular
lunches with an orphan meal served throughout the 1920s. Moreover,
they too penned messages of thanks and gratitude to the White House in
recognition of the United States' continuous support of NER throughout
its 15 year operation from 1915-1930 and thus urged President Barack
Obama to stay true to his promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
"With every school we visit, we are inspired with the level of
engagement and enthusiasm from the students as they learn about the
unprecedented efforts of the Near East Relief and are assured that
they will serve as ambassadors to educate Armenians and non-Armenians
alike throughout their communities and beyond," remarked AWTY co-chair
Vanna Kitsinian, Esq.
Students at AGBU Vatche & Tamar Manoukian High School pledged to
not only spread awareness of NER's instrumental role in rescuing
the Armenian people as it suffered the perils of Genocide,
they participated in the "Golden Rule Sunday" campaign as it was
fashioned from 1923-1930 and were inspired to pay it forward. They
pooled together their lunch money, totaling over $400, and will
be donating it to Izmirlyan Child Care Center in Yerevan, Armenia
during their annual school trip to Armenia in July. "I was overcome
by how enthusiastically and immediately the students offered their
lunch money to be able to provide support for the care and well-being
of their brothers and sisters in Armenia," expressed AWTY committee
member Missak Kelechian. "The students in turn solidified my resolve
and dedication to the invaluable efforts being spearheaded by the
'America We Thank You' campaign," added Kelechian. Kelechian presented
the history of NER to both Merdinian and Manoukian students.
AWTY committee member Missak Kelechian proudly reads the messages
of gratitude penned by Merdinian students that will be mailed to the
Of AWTY's many upcoming projects and events is its collaboration
with NER successor, Near East Foundation (NEF) to curate a traveling
Exhibit which documents and showcases the legacy of the NER on the
eve of its own Centennial. The Exhibit is comprised of high-quality
scans of official correspondence, biographies of missionaries and
relief workers who lived, volunteered and worked in the trenches, and
archival photographs, some of which have only recently been accessed
and offer new insight to the depth and breadth of NER's impact and
legacy. AWTY's launch of the Exhibit will be held at the Los Angeles
City Public Library in March 2015.
Additionally, AWTY is partnering with four-time regional Emmy
Award-winner editor and producer Bared Maronian for the creation of
a documentary film to serve as an educational tool given the current
omission of NER's rich history and legacy in the American educational
curriculum. The film, which highlights interviews from historians,
researchers, public figures and descendants of Armenian orphans
rescued by NER efforts will accompany the Exhibit, which will travel
for display at numerous public libraries, university and college
campuses, churches and community centers throughout America.
Maronian's 2012 documentary "Orphans of the Genocide" has been
broadcast on PBS stations nationwide reaching more than 12 million
In the coming weeks AWTY, in cooperation with local ANCA chapters as
well as Glendale Public Library, will host community presentations
and educational lectures on NER and the history of the "Orphan Rug"
woven by Armenian orphans under the care of NER's Ghazir orphange
in Lebanon. The Rug was gifted to then President Calvin Coolidge in
1925 as a token of appreciation for America's steadfast support and
unprecedented humanitarian assistance. The first of these presentations
will be held on January 30th at Ferrahian High School's Avedissian
Hall at 7:30pm. On Sunday February 15, residents of Orange County
will have an opportunity to learn more about the legacy of NER and the
AWTY campaign at 2:00pm at the Armenian Community Center at Ghazarian
Hall. Finally, on February 26 at 7:30pm the public is invited to attend
AWTY committee member Missak Kelechian's illustrated lecture on the
history of the "Orphan Rug" and its most recent public display in
November 2014 at the White House Visitors' Center's exhibition "Thank
you to the United States: Three Gifts to Presidents in Gratitude for
American Generosity Abroad."
Filmmaker Bared Maronian wraps up interview with Professor Keith David
Watenpaugh of UC Davis for AWTY's NER educational documentary film
Since its inception less than a year ago, AWTY has successfully
facilitated both the California State Senate and State Assembly
legislatures' adoption of measures honoring the legacy of the Near
East Relief. The California State Senate unanimously approved the
measure. "As the largest and leading Armenian-American advocacy
organization in the Western United States, the ANCA-WR could not be
more proud with the successful strides of our 'America We Thank You'
initiative to ensure that the current generation of Americans is well
aware of its humanitarian legacy and the pivotal role the US Congress
and White House occupied to advance Near East Relief's efforts at the
time of the Armenian Genocide," noted ANCA-WR chair Nora Hovsepian,
Esq. "No other humanitarian relief effort in American history has
received 15 years of uninterrupted governmental endorsement and support
nor has it sustained the level of generosity, giving and volunteerism
from the American people as has the Near East Relief. It is imperative
that this historical reality be given its due recognition," added
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the
largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy
organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination
with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the
Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country,
the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community
on a broad range of issues.
Posted 24 January 2015 - 01:53 PM
ONE FREE WORLD INTERNATIONAL TO REMEMBER 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE WITH EVENT IN TORONTO
Jan 22 2015
On January 25th, One Free World International founder Majed El Shafie
will host the Armenian Ambassador to Canada, H.E. Armen Yeganian, and
Minister Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
and Minister for Multiculturalism, for a discussion about human rights
around the world then and now.
(PRWEB) January 22, 2015
On Sunday, January 25th, One Free World International (OFWI) will
remember the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide with a free
event at 10:30 a.m. at Catch the Fire Church (272 Attwell Drive)
in Toronto. The event is free and open to the public.
OFWI founder Majed El Shafie will host the Armenian Ambassador to
Canada, H.E. Armen Yeganian, and Minister Jason Kenney, Minister of
Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism,
for a discussion about human rights around the world then and now.
"It's time for the whole world to acknowledge what happened in
Armenia," said El Shafie. "Not just to remember the past, but to avoid
repeating the same mistakes in the future. We must be the voice for
the voiceless - then and now."
In August, El Shafie led a Canadian delegation to Armenia, which
included three Honourable Canadian Members of Parliament: Mr. Brad
Butt, Mr. Russ Hiebert and Mr. Leon Benoit, participating in the
capacity of observers. Also joining the delegation was Pastor Hany
Boghossian, from The Well on Bayview Church in Toronto, who served
as the Deputy Leader of the delegation.
The delegation was received by the President of the National
Assembly, Galust Sahakyan; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward
Nalbandian; Minister of Diaspora, Hranush Hakobyan; and the head
of the Armenia-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group, Hovhannes
Sahakyan. The parties discussed the planned events dedicated to the
Centennial Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, mutual support
in international organizations and the successful cooperation of
parliamentary friendship groups. The delegation also visited the
Mother See of Holy Ejmiatzin, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute
and laid a wreath at the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial to the victims of
the Medz Yerghern.
For interviews and media-related inquiries, contact Brian Mayes at
615-771-2040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Majed El Shafie El Shafie has a unique voice, having once been
arrested, tortured, and sentenced to die in Egypt for defending
human rights and fighting for freedom of religion and the rights
of minorities. He regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress and
the Canadian Parliament and Senate, and he's a frequent guest on news
outlets worldwide, including FOX News Radio, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee,
Phil Valentine, Laura Ingraham, CBN News, CBC, Sun News Network,
CTV News, American Family Radio and many more. He now resides in
Canada and fights for those persecuted around the world through his
human rights organization, One Free World International. Pressuring
governments, and challenging both world and spiritual leaders, he has
not been afraid to put everything on the line to help those in need.
For more information on Majed El Shafie and One Free World
International, visit http://www.onefreewo...ternational.org.
Posted 24 January 2015 - 01:54 PM
FRESNO ART MUSEUM SHOW MARKS 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
The Fresno Bee, CA
Jan 22 2015
By Ron Orozco
An exhibit featuring artwork by Armenian artists to commemorate the
100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be on display in four
galleries at Fresno Art Museum.
The show -- "1915-2015: Tradition, Legacy, Culture" -- opens Friday,
Jan. 23, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and continues through April 26.
It is one of the first events of many planned by the Armenian Genocide
Centennial Fresno Committee, which seeks to raise awareness about
the Armenian Genocide of 1915 when 1.5 million Armenians were killed
by the Ottoman Turkish government and to inspire people to overcome
adversity through the stories of its survivors.
The exhibition features some of the most prominent Armenian artists of
the last century -- John Altoon, Varujan Boghosian, Charles Garabedian,
Arshile Gorky, Khachik Khachatouryan and Rueben Nakian -- as well
as artists with a local connection -- Ara Dolarian, Ed Marouk, Varaz
Samuelian, Arminee Shishmanian and, of course, William Saroyan. Some
pieces are on loan from various art galleries and personal collections
throughout the country.
"The art is to celebrate the rich culture of the Armenian artists,"
says Joyce Kierejczyk, guest curator and committee member. "Even
though we have survived a genocide, they have been allowed to create
art and keep cultures alive through art."
Regina Peters, another committee member, says the show is important to
the community: "It's world-class art being brought into the community
to see, experience and educate."
Here are 10 things to see and do at the exhibit:
* Bronze sculpture of Saroyan
In a window display, the piece by Shishmanian depicts Saroyan reading
while sitting on a tree stump. The tree also supports a bike that
Saroyan was known for riding all over town. It was Shishmanian's
tribute to Saroyan on his 100th birthday. He was born on Aug. 31,
1908. Shishmanian, who lives and works in Fresno, creates a wide
range of art, including watercolor, acrylic, oil paintings, pastels
and bronze sculpture.
* "Genocide" assemblage by Boghosian
The surrealism of Boghosian's assemblage features children's blocks
in the colors of the national flag of Armenia -- red, blue and
orange -- and in different formations. One block bears the weight
of a grape-picking knife. The blocks and knife are "found objects"
that Boghosian uses in the assemblage. Kierejczyk believes the piece
shows "things that shouldn't have happened" and the blocks represent
"building new life."
* A bronze sculpture by Marouk
The piece stands about 15-inches tall, depicting a man with a hand on
the shoulder of a younger man in handcuffs. Peters believes the man
is offering counsel to a person being taken away. "It's a very moving
piece," she says. "At first, I didn't see the handcuffs." Marouk is a
former Fresno attorney who took up art later in life. His commissions
include busts done for the Robert Coyle Federal Courthouse, the
Fifth District Court of Appeals, the San Joaquin School of Law and
the Fresno County Law Library.
* Samuelian's portrait of wife Anna
Known for bold colors and strong forms, Samuelian painted his wife
in a style he wouldn't normally paint. "The eyes are compelling,"
Kierejczyk says. "She has a story to tell. When you look at her,
you can see how he loved her and how she loved him." Samuelian's
work is all around Fresno, including the large bronze sculpture of
Armenian legendary figure David of Sassoon on horseback wielding a
sword at Fresno County Courthouse Park and the bust of Saroyan at
Fresno Convention Center.
* Saroyan's drawings
Saroyan is known as the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer. Many people
don't realize he was also an artist. His paintings are lyrical,
free explorations of color and line. Saroyan said, "I began to make
drawings again ... because my son was making them. ... Most of the
drawings are made so swiftly as to seem to have been instantaneous."
Peters says, "Children are taught in a traditional way to draw. This
will open to the contemporary drawing. He was consistent with the
* Sculptures of succulents by Khachatouryan
He is known for contemporary expressions of his bronze and stainless
steel sculptures. He also has employed experimental/multimedia, glass,
interactive, mosaics and murals. Kierejczyk says she appreciates
looking at the world of succulents through the artist's eyes. "They
are artists taking something so rough and prickly and making it into
beautiful sculptures," she says. "It is how he has taken art form to
bronze and stainless steel."
* Altoon's "Untitled"
He is known for his abstract and figurative work and adeptly executed
line, color and subject matter. "Untitled" was recently exhibited at
the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Today, so many can also view
Altoon's work on their smartphones, but to see "Untitled" in person is
a rare treat. "It comes to life 100 times when you see it in person,"
* Gorky's collection
Gorky and his family were witnesses of the Armenian Genocide, resulting
in his mother's death from starvation in 1919. In 1940s New York, he
participated in the avante-garde abstract art movement. He developed
his own style and moved into his own passionate, personal language
of visual expression, which was informed by the suffering and loss
he experienced in his own life.
* Listen to "Come On-a My House"
A recording of the song performed by Rosemary Clooney will be played
during the show -- near the pieces on and by Saroyan. The song was
written by Ross Bagdasarian and his cousin, Saroyan, in the summer
of 1939 while driving across New Mexico. The melody is based on an
Armenian folk song. It was released by Clooney on her album by the
same title on June 6, 1951. The song launched Clooney's career.
* Meet Joan Quinn
She is an art collector who has loaned pieces by Garabedian, known
for classic imagery in his bold paintings, and Altoon, including his
"Untitled" piece. She will be available to meet people at the reception
Read more here:
Posted 26 January 2015 - 10:52 AM
In 1915 Britain was determined to expose the Armenian genocide, so why have we since downgraded it to a ‘tragedy’?
Armenians mark the anniversary of the massacre of their people, in 2014. Photograph: Karen Minasyan/Getty Images
Friday 23 January 2015 14.00 GMT
Just before the invasion of Poland, Adolf Hitler urged his generals to show no mercy towards its people – there would be no retribution, because “after all, who now remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?” As the centenary of the Armenian genocide approaches – it began on 24 April 1915, with the rounding up and subsequent “disappearance” of intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople – remembrance of the destruction of more than half of the Armenian people is more important than ever. Although, as Hitler recognised in 1939 (and it is still the case today), the crime against humanity committed by the Ottoman Turks by killing the major part of this ancient Christian race has never been requited, or, in the case of Turkey, been the subject of apology or reparation.
The “Young Turks” who ran the Ottoman government did not use gas ovens, but they did massacre the men, and sent the women, children and elders on death marches through the desert to places we only hear of now because they are overrun by Isis. They died en route in their hundreds of thousands from starvation or attack, and many survivors died of typhus in concentration camps at the end of the line. The government ordered these forced deportations in 1915, and then passed laws to seize their lands and homes and churches on the pretext that they had been “abandoned”.
The destruction of more than 1 million Armenians was declared a “crime against humanity” by Britain, France and Russia in 1915, and these allies formally promised punishment for what a US inquiry at the end of the war described as “a colossal crime – the wholesale attempt on a race”. But the Treaty of Sèvres, designed to punish the Young Turks for this “colossal crime” – now called “genocide” – was never implemented. Modern Turkey reportedly funds a massive genocide denial campaign, claiming that the death marches were merely “relocations” required by military necessity and that the massacres (the Euphrates was so packed with bodies that it altered its course) were the work of a few “unruly’ officials. In Turkey, today, you can go to jail – and some do – for affirming that there was a genocide in 1915; this counts as the crime of “insulting Turkishness” under Section 301 of its criminal code.
Conversely, in some European countries, it counts as a crime to deny the Armenian genocide. The parliaments of many democracies – France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia, Greece and Canada, for example, recognise it explicitly, as do 43 states of the US. The problem is that Turkey – “neuralgic” on the subject (the word used privately by the British Foreign Office to describe its attitude) – has threatened reprisals and is too important geopolitically to provoke by affirming the genocide, lest it carry out threats to close its airbases to Nato and its borders to refugees. Thus Barack Obama, who roundly condemned the Armenian genocide in 2008 and promised to do so when elected president, dares not utter the “g” word. Instead, he calls it Meds Yeghern (Armenian for “the great crime”) and asserts that his opinion has not changed, although you must Google his 2008 campaign speech to discover his opinion that it was genocide.
As for Britain, the story is even stranger. No nation, in 1915, was more determined to expose and punish what it termed a “crime against humanity”. The evidence of the atrocities collected in Arnold Toynbee’s Blue Book, although published by the government for propaganda purposes, has withstood all attempts to discredit it.Winston Churchill condemned the “infamous general massacre and deportation of Armenians … in one administrative Holocaust”, and Britain even attempted to put some of the perpetrators on trial in Malta, only to find that there was no international criminal law at the time to punish government officials for killing their own people. However, in recent years, the FCO has briefed ministers to call the events a “tragedy” but to deny genocide because “the evidence is not sufficiently unequivocal” – an oxymoronic term (something is either unequivocal or it is not).
The FCO certainly knew that this “genocide equivocation” was dodgy: one internal memo obtained under the Freedom of Information Act admits that “HMG is open to criticism in terms of the ethical dimension. But given the importance of our relations (political, strategic and commercial) with Turkey … the current line is the only feasible option.” Ministers were also advised to avoid attendance at any commemoration of the Armenian genocide, and to avoid any mention of it atHolocaust Day memorials.
This position could not hold, especially after the International Court of Justice declared the Bosnian Serbs guilty of genocide at Srebrenica, for killing 8,000 men and deporting up to 25,000 women and children. The claim that the evidence is “not sufficiently unequivocal” was then abandoned by the FCO (although the Turkish government website claims that this is still the UK’s position), and the search began for a formula that could answer the question: “Will HMG recognise the Armenian genocide?” without answering the question.
Now, the FCO claims to empathise with the “suffering” of the Armenian people in the “tragedy” of 1915, and says it is not for governments to decide a “complex legal question”. It has thus moved the “line” from genocide equivocation to genocide avoidance – a move slightly in the right direction. Last year there was even talk at the FCO of giving to the Armenian Genocide Museum copies of some files in the National Archives attesting to the Ottoman atrocities: this was turned down, ostensibly because the photocopying costs of £431.20 could not be afforded, but probably because the Turks would go ballistic.
The FCO files recently recorded ministerial approval for “more active participation” in centenary events, but there has, as yet, been no lifting of the ban on reference to the Armenian genocide on Holocaust Memorial Day. The real test of this government’s willingness to accept historical truth will be whether it sends a senior minister – or any minister at all – to the genocide commemoration in Yerevan, the Armenian capital, on 24 April. Ministers will be present at Gallipolifor the centenary of the ill-fated British-Anzac Dardanelles landing on 25 April, and it would be simple for them to fly there from Yerevan, were it not for the certainty that Turkey would deny them entry.
The Dardanelles landings were in fact the trigger for the commencement of the genocide, and (together with Russian military activity on Turkey’s eastern front) were used as an excuse for the destruction of the Armenians, on the pretext that they might support the allied invasion. But the evidence of the government’s genocidal intent is overwhelming, coming as it does from appalled German and Italian diplomats and neutral Americans, to whom the Young Turk leaders admitted that they were going to eliminate “the Armenian problem” by eliminating the Armenians.
There can never be justification for genocide. This was understood by Raphael Lemkin, the Polish lawyer who coined the word and worked tirelessly to have the annihilation of the Armenians recognised as an international crime. In 1948 the UN’s Genocide Convention achieved Lemkin’s objective. Its definition of the crime includes the destruction of part of a racial or religious group by, for example, inflicting on it life-threatening conditions (such as death marches). Applied to 1915, this produces a verdict of guilt, beyond reasonable doubt.
It was, of course, a century ago: does it still matter? A century is just within living memory: last year a 103-year-old woman, once a small child carried by her mother across burning sands, took tea with Obama and the world’s most famous Armenian descendant (Kim Kardashian!). The mental scars and psychological trauma for the children and grandchildren of survivors throughout the diaspora will continue until Turkey acknowledges the crime, and offers an apology.
International law may provide some assistance: there are assets expropriated in 1915 that can still be traced, and many ruined churches that can be restored and returned. Armenians want restoration of their historic lands in eastern Turkey, which is asking too much (although I have suggested that the majestic Mount Ararat, overlooking Yerevan, might be handed over by Turkey as an act of reconciliation). But what they want most is what they are plainly entitled to have: an acknowledgment from Turkey, and for that matter from the UK, that what happened to their people in 1915 was not a tragedy but a crime. A crime against humanity – as Britain said in 1915, and should, in 2015, repeat.
Edited by Yervant1, 26 January 2015 - 10:53 AM.
Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:24 AM
The two accomplices of the genocide Turkey & Germany deny Armenian Genocide
January 25, 2015 By administrator
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. AA photo
The government of Germany has declared that it is against labeling the
mass massacres of Armenians that Turkey continues to deny as genocide
as the Armenian genocide and is not planning any commemoration for the
According to Armenia, up to 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians were killed
starting from 1915. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted
genocide, saying the toll during the mass deportation of Ottoman
Armenians has been inflated and that those killed in 1915 and 1916
were victims of general unrest during the World War I.
Upon a parliamentary question from Die Linke, which is the main
opposition party in Germany, the German Foreign Ministry clarified its
position regarding the 1915 events with a written statement. According
to the four-point response, the question whether the events
constituted genocide should be answered by historians and the issue
should be solved between Turkey and Armenia.
The statement also stressed that the United Nations' 1948 convention,
which defines genocide, does not apply retroactively.
`We are informed about the initiatives planned by Armenian communities
for the 100th anniversary of the 1915/1916 events. The German
government currently has no action plan for commemorations at the
moment,' the statement added.
Ulla Jelpke, a member of the Bundestag from Die Linke, said the
Germangovernment's stance was `unacceptable.' After claiming that the
German and Ottoman Turkish governments of the time were `accomplices,'
Jelpke said the current government in Berlin was `evading
On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman government signed the Deportation Law,
which stipulated the forced migration of Ottoman Armenians.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan recently rebuffed an invitation by
Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄ?an to attend ceremonies marking
the centenary of the Battle of Gallipoli in Çanakkale on April 24,
In a landmark statement on the Armenian issue delivered on April 23,
2014, ErdoÄ?an highlighted the `shared pain' endured during the 1915
events, expressing condolences on behalf of the Turkish state to the
grandchildren of Armenians who lost their lives `in the context of the
early 20th century.'
Then-Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄ?lu, on the other hand, labeled the
deportation as `wrong' and `inhumane' in December 2013.
But Turkey still denies that the mass massacres account for a
genocide, a position which is relayed by the media that is bound to
respect the official history line to avoid any sanctions, regardless
historic facts and the personal opinions of editors.
Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan Rafael Harpaz announced early this
month that the Tel Aviv government would not recognize the events as
Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:35 AM
AS YOU REFLECT ON NAZI HORRORS, REMEMBER AN EARLIER HOLOCAUST
The Sunday Times (London), UK
January 25, 2015 Sunday
by DOMINIC LAWSON
Among the evidence brought by prosecutors at the Nuremberg war crimes
tribunal was an account of a speech Adolf Hitler gave in Obersalzburg
to his generals on the eve of the invasion of Poland, to steel them
for the atrocities to come. In it the Nazi leader put the rhetorical
question: "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the
If the intention was to suggest that the slaughter of millions of
Polish Jews and other "inferior races" would be forgotten by history,
the Fuhrer has been proved wrong. What became known as the Holocaust is
now seen as one of the defining events of the 20th century. On Tuesday
we will be reflecting on it with particular intensity, as it marks the
70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp
in Nazioccupied Poland, where an estimated 1m Jews were exterminated:
January 27 is commemorated as Holocaust Memorial Day.
Yet while the continental scale and industrialised efficiency of
the Nazis' genocidal campaign against the Jews was unique, there
was, as Hitler implied, an antecedent: and this year marks its
100th anniversary. As the website of Britain's Holocaust Memorial
Day Trust points out: "The term 'genocide' was first used in 1933,
in a paper presented to the League of Nations by the Polish lawyer
Raphael Lemkin. He devised the concept in response to the atrocities
perpetrated against the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire
between 1915 and 1918." The website goes on to explain: "It is unknown
how many Armenians were murdered in this period but estimates range
from 1.3m to 1.9m."
That would suggest roughly threequarters of the Armenian race were
wiped out - a greater proportion than even Hitler managed in respect
of Europe's Jewish population. Yet this is a remarkably littleknown
fact. There is a curious inverse relation between this genocide and
that of the Jewish people. The latter was downplayed by the British
and American governments while it was taking place, largely because
President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were concerned not
to give the public the faintest reason to believe Hitler's claim that
the war was being fought "for the Jews". It was only with the televised
trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961 that the scale and true nature of
the Holocaust impinged on public consciousness in Britain and America.
The opposite process happened with the genocide of the Armenian
people. The shocked US consul in Aleppo in 1915-16 reported in
dispatches "a gigantic plundering scheme and a final blow to extinguish
the Armenian race". Churchill in his 1929 book The World Crisis wrote:
"In 1915 the Turkish government began and ruthlessly carried out the
infamous general massacre and deportations of Armenians in Asia Minor
... whole districts were blotted out in one administrative holocaust
... there is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and
executed for political reasons."
But nowadays the British and American governments refuse to attach
the word "genocide", let alone "holocaust", to what happened to
the Armenians. This is pure realpolitik. Modern-day Armenia - which
represents about 10% of the landmass of its historic territory - is a
poor landlocked country of no great strategic significance. Turkey, by
contrast, is a vast country, a Nato member of tremendous geostrategic
importance - and its government has long been intensely neuralgic on
the Armenian issue.
As the eminent lawyer Geoffrey Robertson pointed out in his recent book
An Inconvenient Genocide, while the British government disingenuously
states that it has asked Turkey to work with the Armenians "to
address their common history", "this is not possible as long as Turkey
maintains its obsessive denialism and uses Article 301 of its Penal
Code to threaten those of its citizens who 'insult Turkishness' by
referring to the treatment of Armenians in 1915 as genocide." Even
its great novelists, such as Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak, have faced
prosecution under Article 301, the latter when some of her fictional
characters spoke about the genocide.
It is not as if the current government of Turkey needs to defend
the reputation of the ultra-nationalist regime that controlled
the Ottoman Empire in 1915-18, any more than the current German
government would feel the need to justify what the Nazis did during
the Second World War. Yet it does: last November the director-general
for policy planning at the Turkish foreign ministry, Altay Cengizer,
said his government was bracing itself for the 100th anniversary of
"the events" of 1915 and that "Turkey does not deserve to appear before
the world as a nation that committed genocide ... these claims target
our very identity".
It seems to be lost on such people - though not on the many wonderful
Turks I have met who despair of their government - that one reason
Germany has such a high standing in international opinion is that it
is open and contrite about the crimes of an earlier era.
Obviously such matters are difficult to talk about, once you get
down to grisly details beyond mere numbers. In essence: because they
saw the presence of the minority Christian Armenians in Anatolia
as a potential threat to the disintegrating Ottoman Empire, the
government known as the Young Turks implemented a plan - to quote that
brave Turkish commentator Cengiz Aktar - "to engineer a homogeneous
population composed of Muslims designated to form the backbone of
the yet-to-be-invented Turkish nation. Thus there was no place for
>From April 24, 1915, the Armenian population saw their menfolk
murdered en masse and women and children sent on what amounted to
death marches (or "relocation") into the Syrian desert. The language
used in justification was a foul foreshadowing of that later employed
by the Nazis against the Jews. Thus Dr Mehmed Resid, the governor of
Diyarbakir province: "The Armenian bandits were a load of harmful
microbes that had afflicted the body of the fatherland. Was it not
the duty of the doctor to kill the microbes?"
Another parallel is that the Armenians, like the Jews of Europe, tended
to be successful traders, wealthier than the general population. There
was similar profit to be made by their expropriation and removal,
with the Ottoman Treasury the principal beneficiary.
While the bacillus of anti-semitism continues to infect men's minds,
the attempted annihilation of the Armenians - the first nation to
become Christian, long before the Roman Empire - also has its modern
version; though in this case the incubator is a form of religious
rather than racial ideology.
Across swathes of the Middle East Christians are suffering
persecution. In Syria and Iraq the forces of Isis offer them the deal
the Turks made to some of the (more fortunate) Armenian women and
children a century ago: you will be spared, but only if you convert to
Islam. And in a cruel echo of what happened to thousands of Armenian
churches during the massacres, Isis has destroyed the Armenian Genocide
Memorial Church and Museum in the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor.
Much though some people wish to eradicate or deny the evidence for what
happened to the Armenians a century ago, this year - of all years -
it should be commemorated. But don't expect Washington or Westminster
to make the effort.
FROM APRIL 24, 1915, THE ARMENIANS SAW THEIR MENFOLK MURDERED EN MASSE
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