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28.4.17

Former U.S. Ambassador Calls Armenian Genocide Denial 'Worst Alternative Fact' of the Century

David Crow

The viewing of Joe Berlinger’s Intent to Destroy will likely be a revelatory experience for moviegoers as it winds its way through the festival circuit in the coming months. An eye-opening documentation about the history of the Armenian Genocide—as well as a companion film to Terry George’s sweeping melodrama on the same subject, The Promise—it makes for an efficient and precise record on a grim topic many Westerners have been deprived of learning about for the better part of the last century.
Yet the most fascinating aspect of the film is not a recollection of where the bodies were buried (both in reality and on the Portugal set of George’s narrative fiction), but rather how a multi-generational campaign by the Turkish government, and with an increasing complicity by the U.S. one, has attempted to erase this devastating crime against humanity from the history books.

27.4.17

Աշոտ Բլէեան. «Այս կրթահամալիրը այն նո՛ր միջավայրն է, որ բաց է եւ ազատ, առանց սահմանների, առանց որեւէ խտրութեան» (*)

ԺԻՐԱՅՐ ՉՈԼԱՔԵԱՆ
 
ԽՄԲ. «Նոր Յառաջ»ի.- Կրթական համակարգը որեւէ երկրի զարգացման գլխաւոր ազդակն է։ Հայութեան քրիստոնէութեան դարձի օրերէն՝ կրթութիւնը, ուսումը կարեւոր դեր կատարած են անոր ինքնութեան կերտումին մէջ։ Նախքան հանրակրթական դպրոցներու ընդհանրացումը, Եկեղեցին եւ եկեղեցականները կրթական կարեւոր դերակատարութիւն ունեցած են։ Կաթոլիկ եւ աւետարանական առաքելութիւններու ներթափանցումը հայութեան մէջ՝ եղած է կրթական հսկայ ներդրումներու շնորհիւ։ Հանրակրթական հաստատութիւնները նոր երեւոյթ են, Ֆրանսական Յեղափոխութեան հետեւանքներէն։ Աշոտ Բլէեան հանրակրթութեան բաց, ազատ համակարգի հաւատացեալ մըն է, թէեւ իր տնօրինած դպրոցին անունը կը կրէ Մխիթարեան ուխտի հիմնադիր աբբահօր անունը։ Ունի համոզում, տեսիլք եւ հանրակրթութեան կարեւորութեան փարած հիմնաւոր հայեացքներ։ Եղած է Հայաստանի Կրթութեան նախարար, Քոչարեանի օրօք բանտարկուած է։ Ազատ արձակուելէ ետք, քաղաքական կեանքէն քաշուելով նուիրուած է կրթական աշխատանքին։
Մխիթար Սեբաստացի կրթահամալիրը եզակի, առինքնող հանրակրթական օճախ մըն է, որուն կեդրոնական դերակատարը եղած է Բլէեան։ Յորդառատ աղբիւրի նման կրթութեան վերաբերեալ նորարարութիւնները, գաղափարները ինքնաբուխ, անբռնազբօսիկ, կը ժայթքին անոր ինքնութեան ակունքներէն եւ ազատ, ինքնավար կերպով կը տարածուին, համակելով, գրաւելով շրջապատը, միջավայրը։ Այո, կրթական հայեացքները Բլէեանի մօտ բնազդային են։

26.4.17

The Intellectual Crisis of the Armenian Reality։ A Critical Engagement with Seta B. Dadoyan

Varak Ketsemanian

However we try to define the term and the various dimensions of the 21st century “Armenian Reality,” one aspect remains indubitable, namely, the ongoing political, economic, cultural and social challenges that this reality is facing globally. The one critical feature that is not adequately tackled and is almost non-existent in Armenian public discourse is the “intellectual crisis” that Armenians are facing vis-à-vis the rapid changes they are witnessing both in the Diaspora and Armenia. 
Notwithstanding the lack of a healthy public discourse that accounts for the intellectual crisis, only a few serious works have emerged in recent years addressing the urgent need of revamping, analyzing, and critically engaging with the dominant epistemic categories and historical paradigms that animate this Armenian reality. Among such endeavors, Seta B. Dadoyan’s recent book, 2015: The Armenian Condition in Hindsight and Foresight: A Discourse is a timely and critical piece of scholarship that sheds light on the intellectual crisis of the 21st century Armenian reality.

25.4.17

Ever-looming controversy: the fight over the “Armenian Orphan Rug”

 Gabi Gage

In the 1920s, 400 Armenian girls spent 18 months making an elaborate woven rug by hand to show their gratitude to the United States for its efforts to ease their suffering as the survivors of the world’s first modern genocide – an event commemorated each year on April 24 by the global Armenian diaspora. The Ghazir Rug, or the Armenian Orphan Rug, ended up in President Calvin Coolidge’s White House in 1925 until the end of his term.

24.4.17

President Donald Trump's Statement on April 24: Uncovering the Source

"Armeniaca"
On April 24, 2017, the White House issued President Donald Trump’s statement on "Armenian Remembrance Day 2017," which followed the tradition and avoided using the term "genocide" to describe the events of 1915.
Most of the statement also followed, whether paraphrasing or literally, the 2009-2016 statements of President Obama. The annotated text of the statement (italics added) is presented below:

Will Donald Trump have the guts to call the Armenian genocide what it was?

Robert Fisk
Well, it’s now Trump’s moment of masculinity. Will he – or will he not – have the guts to call the 1915 Armenian genocide a genocide? A small matter for a guy who’s shooting from the hip across the Muslim world, you may say. But he congratulated the Caliph Erdogan on winning his dictatorial referendum and I doubt that Trump has the courage to offend him this month by telling the truth about the slaughter of one and a half million Armenian Christians during the First World War.
After all, Bill Clinton didn’t call it a genocide. Nor did George Bush. Nor did Obama. They all promised they would before they were elected. But my guess is that Donald Trump will be as cowardly as them, bowing towards the sensitivities of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wretched generals, those of them who still have jobs after Erdogan’s post-attempted-coup purge of the last nine months.

‘Sherlock Holmes of Armenian Genocide’ Uncovers Lost Evidence

Tim Arango
 
For more than a century, Turkey has denied any role in organizing the killing of Armenians in what historians have long accepted as a genocide that started in 1915, as World War I spread across continents. The Turkish narrative of denial has hinged on the argument that the original documents from postwar military tribunals that convicted the genocide’s planners were nowhere to be found.
Now, Taner Akcam, a Turkish historian at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., who has studied the genocide for decades by piecing together documents from around the world to establish state complicity in the killings, says he has unearthed an original telegram from the trials, in an archive held by the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

23.4.17

Un 24 de abril inquietante

Juan Gabriel Tokatlian

Este artículo sobre el ya centenario genocidio del pueblo armenio a manos de los turcos es el producto de dos registros; uno objetivo y otro subjetivo. Intento evaluar un tema en el que se intersectan la política interna, la exterior y los derechos humanos y lo hago anclado en mis convicciones como descendiente de armenios. Mi argumento es que desde hace un tiempo se observa un menor interés en el respaldo y respeto a la recordación de ese genocidio en la agenda diplomática del país, a tal punto que se está ad portas de abandonar los tres hitos que en esa materia signaron Raúl Alfonsín, Néstor Kirchner y un fallo de la justicia.

22.4.17

Kirk Kerkorian Finally Bet Big-Time to Make the Movie that Meant the Most to Him

Peter Bart
 
“Every movie needs a rabbi,” Samuel Goldwyn once wrote. His comment seems relevant to two movies bowing this weekend, both in urgent need of help. One has a world-class rabbi, the other an invisible one.
Oprah Winfrey, as mega-energized as ever, has gone multimedia pitching her new film, whose title is as complex as its plot line. Fortunately, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an HBO movie, so there’s no panic about its box office opening. Only Oprah could stir excitement for the story of an African-American woman whose tissue samples in 1951 proved so resilient that they created the basis for drugs to combat cancer or AIDS.
But if that one-liner might  be a hard sell, consider The Promise, a sprawling $100 million epic dealing with the Armenian genocide of 1915. That film stars Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac and is directed by Terry George (who shot Hotel Rwanda). Its “rabbi,” Kirk Kerkorian, personally put up most of the production cost but died just before the start of production. Although he loved movies – he had bought and sold MGM three times — Kerkorian harbored serious doubts about making this one, which opens Friday on 2,000 screens.

Battle Over 2 Films Reflects Turkey’s Quest to Control a Bitter History

Cara Buckley

If history was any guide, the director Terry George figured there’d be weirdness around his new film, “The Promise,” about the Armenian genocide. Sure enough, he was right.
One of the actors, Daniel Giménez Cacho, said he was contacted before filming by a Turkish ambassador. In line with Turkey’s official stance, the diplomat insisted that the genocide, in which nearly 1.5 million Armenians were killed, had never occurred. After the movie’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, it racked up 55,000 lowly one-star votes on the Internet Movie Database, which is quite something, considering only a few thousand people had actually seen it at the three public screenings.
And then, six weeks before “The Promise” hit theaters this weekend came another film that shared uncanny parallels. Like “The Promise,” “The Ottoman Lieutenant” hinges on a love triangle set in Turkey during the early days of World War I. Unlike “The Promise,” “The Ottoman Lieutenant,” which stars Michiel Huisman and Josh Hartnett, was backed by Turkish investors and has been pilloried by critics for whitewashing historical events.