On 24 April 1915, a day that marked not only the Armenian history, but the whole world, the Armenian Genocide began. On that day, the Othoman government arrested, tortured and summarily executed about 250 Armenian intellectuals. After that, began the persecution of Armenians with death marches through Mesopotamia, in the desert, without any food or water. It is estimated that three years after 1.5 million Armenians had died. Turkey, as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, never admitted to the Armenian genocide, even today it denies the existence of genocide and claims there was no extermination, but displacement of the Armenian population.
19-20 OCTOBER: TWO DAYS DEDICATED TO THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Two documentaries by Bared Maronian and a concert with Haig Yazdjian
The Creative Documentary Centre of Kalamata, wishing to commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, invited in Kalamata from the United States, the Armenian director Bared Maronian and organizes a two-day tribute to the Armenian Genocide in collaboration with the τη Kalamata Filmhouse, the participation of the the Armenian community of Kalamata, the Armenian National Committee of Greece, the Armenian Youth of Greece and the support of the Holy Metropolis of Messinia and the Μunicipality of Kalamata.
The American Armenian director Bared Maronian, will present his two documentaries, «Orphans of theGenocide» and (Women of 1915, two films that completely outline the historical context and shed light on unknown aspects of genocide..
* It will be the greek premiere for both documentaries
On Saturday, 19th of the month, 7.30 p.m. at the Creative Documentary Center of Kalamata (Benaki 11), the screening of the documentary «Orphans of the Genocide»in the presence of the director, will be followed by a discussion and acquaintance with the director.
The documentary "Orphans of the Genocide" is a 2014 film that premiered in 2015 at the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The heroes of the film who tell their stories are the descendants of the Genocide survivors
* At the same time, at the Center will be held a photo exhibition about the Genocide.
On Sunday 20 October, In the auditorium "Theod. Aggelopoulos ' in the Labor Center, the program is formed as follows:
6 p.m. Retrospection to the historical and political context of Genocide, Among others, there will be speeches by:
6:30 p.m. Screening of the documentary «Women of 1915» by Bared Maronian
8:00 p.m. Director's speeche
8:30 p.m Concert of Haig Yazdjian
The Documentary «Women of 1915» (Women of 1915), delineates the untold stories of those Armenian women, who despite experiencing unimaginable indignities, resiliently survived the genocide and of all those American, Scandinavian, European and Canadian women, who flocked into the killing fields of the Armenian Genocide and helped save a nation.
• Haig Yazdjian was born in 1959 in Aleppo of Syria by Armenian parents, while living and working in Greece from 1980. He plays the oud and composes. Yazdjian has appeared in many music scenes in Athens and has collaborated with great Greek and foreign artists, while he is especially beloved in the Armenian Greek community – and not only. The artist participates in concerts around the world with famous soloists – indicatively, in 2006 he participated in the European Tour of Loreena McKennitt.
Bared Maronian specializes in producing Armenian documentaries, with three films produced so far. Women of 1915 , which will be screened on Sunday at the auditorium "Theod. Aggelopoulos" is a documentary which unveils the role of the Armenian women of the era and the horrors they endured during the Armenian Genocide.
In a recent interview for his work, answering the question why he decided to make the documentary «Women of 1915» as a continuation of the previous «Orphans of the Genocide », he said:
«About 6 years ago, while conducting preliminary research on Orphans of Genocide, I kept on stumbling into amazing stories of women who, one way or another, were linked to the Genocide. – And it wasn’t one, two or a few stories… while hundreds of thousands of Armenian women were victimized, hundreds, perhaps thousands of non-Armenian- Scandinavian, American, European, Canadian and Australian – women flocked onto the killing fields of the Armenian Genocide and rescued tens of thousands of Armenian women and children. This, I thought, was the ultimate humanitarian task.Leaving a plush life behind, traveling thousands of miles to war zones, risking your life to save the lives of strangers. In some cases these women lost their lives while saving the lives of others. I thought that was an unparalleled self-sacrifice. I couldn’t help, but dedicate a whole film to this topic. Thus, Women of 1915.
The fact that he named the documentary «Women of 1915» and not «Women of Genocide» it is due to his attempt to describe the universality of the Armenian Genocide. As he explains: «Even though the Armenian Genocide was brought upon the Armenians by the [Ottoman] Turks, the horrific and heroic experiences of the Armenian women were of human survival, human triumph, human resilience in times of war. Armenian women were raped, enslaved, dehumanized by their Turkish perpetrators with an attempt to strip them from their identity by forcibly changing their names, religion, language, culture and even appearance. Despite all that, the Armenian woman became the inevitable founders of the post-genocide Armenian societies in the diaspora».
«The film is narrated by the character of Maria Jacobsen, a Danish nurse who dedicated her life to the rescue of the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Jacobsen’s experience with the Armenians was a linear one. She was in Western Armenia during the Hamidian Massacres, experienced the brunt of the Genocide with the Armenians and eventually died and was buried at the Armenian orphanage, the Birds Nest in Lebanon, while tending to Armenian orphans», the director says. «Another woman of 1915 is the American Mary Louise Graffam, a trained teacher, dedicated her life to educating students and teachers in Western Armenia and died in Sivas in 1921».
We also feature a number of Armenian women of 1915, such as Diana Apcar, the first woman ambassador in modern history, Victoria Artinian, Steve Job’s adoptive grandmother, Hatun Yapoujian, who bore arms and fiercely fought to protect her people and of course the typical women of 1915, such as Aurora Mardiganian, who’s story was turned into a block buster Hollywood movie in 1919, just to name a few…
As for the director’s research for the creation of the film, the director says that, «even though there is ample information on Aurora Mardiganian, we travelled all the way to Argentina to interview Eduardo Kozanlian, who accidently discovered the remnants of Aurora Mardiganian’s movie, Auction of Souls or Ravished Armenia». On then other hand, after exhausted research we were able to connect with Steve Jobs grandmother’s family and were able to find a trunk full of documentation on Job’s grandmother.
Bared Maronian is working on his third movie about the Genocide, which deals with an extremely interesting story remotely connected to the Hamidian Massacres.