MISSION HILLS—The Ararat-Eskijian Museum is pleased to announce an upcoming presentation titled, “’No Place Like Home:’ Ergir and the Ex- Ottoman Armenians in Soviet Armenia,” by Ayşenur Korkmaz, a PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam, European studies. The presentation will take place on Sunday, December 8 at 4 p.m. at Ararat-Eskijian Museum’s Sheen Chapel, located at 15105 Mission Hills Rd., Mission Hills, CA 91345.
Korkmaz’s presentation will explore spatial attachments among the ex-Ottoman Armenians who survived the Armenian genocide and settled in their ‘new homeland,’ Soviet Armenia. It addresses the question of how the refugees dealt with loss and displacement and reflected on their former hometowns, referred to as ‘Ergir’ – a spatial construct denoting a symbolic ‘Armenian homeland’ or a ‘local homeland’ in Anatolia. The refugees conceptualized Ergir not only in relation to their expulsion, but also the socio-political factors that influenced them in Soviet Armenia in three periods.
The first era of reflection on Ergir was the 1920s and 1930s, replete with nostalgic sentiments. The second was the suppression of the theme of Ergir, between 1936 and 1960, particularly during political crackdowns in Stalin’s era. The third period saw the revival of Ergir and marked a new phase in the conceptualizations of ‘homeland,’ in which the displacement from Anatolia in 1915 to 1916 and the Stalinist purges have been enmeshed into one tragedy of the ex-Ottoman Armenians.
Ayşenur Korkmaz is a PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam, European Studies. She gained her master’s degree at Central European University, Nationalism Studies with honors. Her main areas of interest are the late Ottoman Empire, Soviet Armenia, as well as anthropological concepts of homeland, sacralization, and materiality. She published several articles on the Hamidian Massacres, and the lives of Ottoman Armenian intellectuals in the nineteenth century, and the Armenian genocide. Korkmaz’s current doctoral research explores the post-genocide articulations of the Armenian homeland (Ergir), through materiality and rituals.
The event is free of charge and open to the public. For more information call the Ararat-Eskijian Museum at 747.500.7584 or send an e-mail to Eskijian@ararat-eskijian-museum.com.