To commemorate the annual recognition of the Armenian genocide and to celebrate an amazing story of two Armenian women’s friendship, UCLA will host a special discussion and also the premiere performance of one of the friend’s music (based on the other’s poetry) on April 20.

Hayganush Mark was the leading Armenian feminist writer of her time, and Koharig Ghazarosian was a prominent composer, concert pianist and piano teacher active in Paris and Istanbul. Their intertwined lives can be traced in photographs, letters and pages of sheet music.

In this event, Melissa Bilal, distinguished research fellow at the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and lecturer in the ethnomusicology department, and Lerna Ekmekcioglu, associate professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will follow the story of the two women’s friendship in Istanbul that endured the hardships of World War I, the Armenian genocide and Turkey’s repressive minority politics. The webinar, titled “Paging Through Photos and Songs: Hayganush Mark and Koharig Ghazarosian’s Friendship in Post-Genocide Istanbul,” will begin at noon. Register for the event.

Internationally acclaimed actress, filmmaker and writer Nora Armani; mezzo-soprano Danielle Segen of the Vem Ensemble; and internationally renowned pianist Steven Vanhauwaert performed and recorded Ghazarosian’s song settings of Mark’s poetry, which will premiere at this event. Through this repertoire, which was brought back to life as part of the project Feminism in Armenian: An Interpretive Anthology and Digital Archive, Bilal and Ekmekcioglu will discuss the ruptures and continuities in Armenian community life in Turkey.

This event is organized by the Promise Institute for Human Rights and Promise Armenian Institute, in partnership with the UCLA Armenian Music Program under the direction of Movses Pogossian.