Four recent films concerning Armenia, Armenians, and contemporary issues concerning them will be part of the Socially Relevant Film Festival at the Quad Cinema in New York from March 14-20, 2014. To see the entire slate of movies, dates and times, and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.ratedsrfilms.org or call the QUAD Cinema (212) 255-2243.
The four Armenian films are:
- If Only Everyone. A young woman’s search for her soldier father’s grave sets off events that lead to forgiveness—of oneself and of “the other.”
- Orphans of the Genocide. An emotional visual journey through never before seen archival footage and discovered memoirs of orphans.
- Hamshen at the Crossroads of Past and Present. Dedicated to the current state of the descendants of the Islamicized Armenians of Hamshen.
- Bavakan. The horror of gender selection and abortion in contemporary Armenia.
Beginning in 1946, tens of thousands of Armenians living in the Diaspora responded to to an orchestrated appeal made by Soviet officials and Armenian organizations to “go back” home to Armenia. While most of the “repatriates” [հայրենադարձ / hayrenatarts] hailed from the Middle East and Europe, scores of American-Armenians set sail for Armenia. It would be the beginning of unimaginable cultural and economic hardships as well as a set-back to those who had longed for their ancestral homeland. Diaspora-born “repatriates” struggled to survive and fit in to post-World War II Soviet Armenia, which would never really be home for them.
Born in Soviet Armenia at the height of the Cold War, artist and writer Hazel Antaramian-Hofman is the daughter of diaspora-born repatriates. She will give a multi-media presentation entitled, Repatriation and Deception: Post World War II Repatriation to Soviet Armenia on Thursday, March 20 at the Zohrab Center in New York.
Using music, images and text, Repatriation and Deception includes gripping stories and telling photographs to portray what the repatriates experienced and how they were deceived. Antaramian-Hofman will review the ethnographic history and propaganda used to entice diasporan Armenians from France, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Greece, Palestine and the United States to “return” to what was for most of them an unknown and unrecognizable homeland, fully Sovietized by Stalin, and economically shattered in the wake of the second World War.
She will focus on the American-Armenians, the most economically advanced of the repatriates and the least in number.
The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:00PM and last one hour. A question and answers session and reception will follow. For further information contact the Zohrab Center at (212) 686-0710 or email@example.com. #ZICrepatriation
In 1947 Antaramian-Hofman’s parents were in their youth when they “repatriated” with their families to an Armenia under Stalin. Her father was born in the United States and her mother, in France. Read more…
The Ghosts of Anatolia is a gripping and heart-wrenching adventure novel by Dr. Steven E. Wilson that chronicles the suffering and path to forgiveness of a young boy during the Armenian Genocide. The lurid yet intriguing tale begins with disgruntled and grumpy Sirak Kazerian who leaves his house in search for coffee only to find his son Keri conversing with George Liralian, the man who he blames for concealing the truth behind the death of his other son, Ara. After beating George over the head with his cane, Sirak is chided and taken home by his son. When the two engage in an intense heart-to-heart, Keri inquires about his family’s origins, which Sirak has neglected to share for many years. After Keri persistently probes, Sirak reluctantly agrees to recount his and his family’s devastating experience.
A 12-week course of Armenian Language instruction for adults will begin on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at the Armenian Diocese Center in New York. The course is offered by the Mesrob Mashdots Institute of the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern). The program is designed to accommodate varied aptitudes. Classes meet Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:30PM.
Those interested may DOWNLOAD A REGISTRATION FORM here.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Zohrab Center has seen a good deal of noted Armenian art historian Dr. Sylvie Merian in recent weeks. In preparation for an academic conference paper, the scholar has been paging through some of the Zohrab Center’s most precious rare books.
She tenderly turns the pages searching for woodcut illustrations printed in Armenian religious books, most of them printed in Constantinople. “There’s another one!” she calls out, pointing to an intricate, full-page illustration featuring biblical images and saints with remarkably detailed facial expressions.
The woodcuts that were produced by Armenian artists in Constantinople are exceptional because many of the compositions for these illustrations were actually closely modeled after western European prints, especially Dutch. The ever-cosmopolitan Armenian artisans became familiar with the designs through the many books printed in Latin, various European languages, and Armenian, which contained them as illustrations. Many such printed books found their way to Armenian communities in Ottoman Turkey and Safavid Iran in the 17th to 18th centuries.
Dr. Merian has discovered dozens of Dutch-inspired Armenian woodcut illustrations in the ZIC’s rare book collection. Often she can even identify the Dutch artist whose work lies in the background of the Armenian print.
But the illustrations inspired more than just woodcut artists. Armenian silversmiths from Kayseri adapted the European designs as imagery for silver plaques used on religious books. Similar images in Armenian manuscript illuminations—which continued to be produced up to the early 19th century in the Near East—and even wall paintings in churches of New Julfa (an Armenian suburb of Isfahan, Iran) are abiding proof of the Armenians’ fascination with the European styles and their openness to adopt and adapt them. In this way, new Christian iconography and decorative motifs were disseminated in various media throughout the region—
—as the Zohrab Center’s remarkable early book collection demonstrates.
Sylvie Merian is Reader Services Librarian at at The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. She received her PhD in Armenian Studies from Columbia University’s Department of Middle East Languages and Cultures, writing her dissertation on Armenian bookbinding. She has published and lectured internationally on Armenian codicology, bookbinding, and manuscript illumination, as well as on the history of the book.
Dr. Merian will present an illustrated lecture on her woodcut research at the Zohrab Information Center on Wednesday, April 9 at 7:00PM.
Due to the impending snowstorm expected to affect the New York metropolitan area, Fr. Daniel Findikyan’s presentation originally scheduled for tomorrow evening, Thursday, February 13 at the Zohrab Center in New York has been postponed to Wednesday, February 19 at 7:00PM.
Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Director of the Zohrab Information Center, returned this week from Germany, where he participated in an academic conference at the University of Bonn, Germany. Fr. Findikyan gave a lecture on an Armenian funeral prayer attributed to the erudite 8th-century bishop Step‘anos of Siwnik‘. Findikyan edited and translated the prayer into English from a 14th-century manuscript held by the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The conference was organized by the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Bonn on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Roman Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council and the 75th anniversary of the publication of the book Liturgie comparée [Comparative Liturgy], the ground-breaking study of the interconnections that are to be found among the worship traditions of the ancient Christian churches. The book was written by the great German Orientalist, Anton Baumstark. Findikyan was one of ten speakers invited to present lectures. He was the only Armenian and the only speaker from the United States. Read more…