Editor’s note: This page was updated on April 25, 2022, to indicate a new date and time for the “Unearthing, Discovering, Unlearning: Armenian Indigeneity in Turkey” discussion.
Sunday, April 24, marks the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the systematic murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the forces of the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923. In tribute, the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA and its partners are sponsoring a series of virtual and in-person discussions and performances over the coming days to recognize and explore that historical tragedy and to celebrate Armenian heritage.
Along with scholars from Armenia, Turkey, Germany and the U.S., the events will feature faculty and fellows from UCLA, including Robert Sukiasyan, a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Promise Armenian Institute; distinguished research fellow Serap Ruken Sengul and Professor Aslı Bâli of the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law; and Melissa Bilal and Professor Movses Pogossian of UCLA’s Armenian Music Program.
Established in 2019, the Promise Armenian Institute serves as a focal point for advanced scholarship on Armenian society, culture and history — including the genocide, particularly through its Armenian Genocide Research Program — and for public programs and outreach aimed at strengthening Armenian communities in Los Angeles, the worldwide diaspora and Armenia itself. As part of these efforts, the institute supports a variety of ongoing projects in the social sciences, arts, health care, genetics and engineering.
“As an educational institute dedicated to research and teaching on Armenia and Armenians, commemorating the Armenian Genocide through scholarly events is a natural part of our mandate,” said Professor Ann Karagozian, the institute’s inaugural director. “The genocide was a momentous, tragic event in modern Armenian history and has become a significant part of the Armenian identity, particularly in the diaspora, which was largely formed by communities of genocide survivors. We are very pleased that this year’s commemorative events at UCLA, organized by our institute and our partner organizations, bring to the forefront the personal stories and experiences of survivors as well as victims of the genocide.”
All commemorative events are free and open to the public:
- Wednesday, April 20, 7:30 p.m. | Hammer Museum
In Remembrance: Treasures of Armenian Music
Organized by the Hammer Museum and the UCLA Armenian Music Program, this in-person event highlights Armenia’s rich musical heritage with performances of works by celebrated Armenian composers, plus a world premier by Martin Ulikhanyan.
- Friday, April 22, 10 a.m. | Zoom
A House in the Homeland: Armenian Pilgrimages to Places of Ancestral Memory
Author and scholar Carel Bertram discusses her book “A House in the Homeland,” which chronicles the journeys of the children and grandchildren of Armenian Genocide survivors to the former villages and towns of their ancestors in what is now eastern Turkey.
- UPDATED date/time: Friday, May 6, 10 a.m. | Zoom
The Life of Eliza Binemeciyan: The Armenian Genocide’s Impact on Armenian Culture
Organized by the Promise Institute for Human Rights, this presentation explores the decline of cosmopolitanism and the rise of nationalism in the Istanbul theater during and after the Armenian Genocide by focusing on the career of actress Eliza Binemeciyan (1890–1981) and her Armenian colleagues.
- Tuesday, April 26, 10 a.m. | Zoom
Unearthing, Discovering, Unlearning: Armenian Indigeneity in Turkey
Armenians born and raised in post-genocide Turkey — representatives of an annihilated indigenous population — have for years been forcibly denied access to their own indigenous history and heritage. This webinar explores the process of reexamining and reclaiming that indigeneity in Armenian ancestral lands.
- Saturday, April 30, 4 p.m. | S. Artsakh Avenue, Glendale 91205
Concert of Traditional Armenian Music and Dance
At this concert, organized by UCLA’s student-led Lernazang Ensemble, the ensemble will be joined by master musicians from Armenia for a performance of traditional songs and dances from western Armenia.