TORONTO (ArmRadio)—On November 7, Dr. Hayk Demoyan, Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute (AGMI) in Yerevan, will meet Mr. Stuart Murray, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg, to sign a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The objective of the MOU is to exchange knowledge and expertise, educational materials, and exhibitions with respect to human rights, share research and advice, cooperate to advance the academic study of human rights and reconciliation, the Armenian Genocide and its effects, and processes seeking justice and reconciliation, and work together to educate people on issues of human rights, in both national and global contexts.
The MOU will be signed in the presence of His Excellency, Mr. Armen Yeganian, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia, officials of the Zoryan Institute, and representatives of the Armenian community.
In March of this year, Zoryan officials accompanied Dr. Clint Curle, the CMHR’s Head of Stakeholder Relations, to Yerevan, to meet with the Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute, the Republic of Armenia’s Minister of Diaspora and other officials, to discuss the significance of the new museum being developed in Winnipeg in relation to the Armenian Genocide. At that time, discussions for formal cooperation between the two museums were held and plans for the formal signing ceremony later in the year made. The International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) (IIGHRS) has been instrumental in bringing the CMHR and AGMI together to the mutual benefit of both organizations and the Armenian and Canadian people.
While in Canada, Dr. Hayk Demoyan will also be making two public appearances at events hosted by The Zoryan Institute in Montreal and Toronto. Dr. Demoyan will speak about recent research on Aurora Mardiganian, and he will also update the public on the official plans for the commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
The official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the CMHR and AGMI is the culmination of the Zoryan Institute’s efforts to bring the two institutions together. This agreement will help both institutions in their efforts to use awareness and dialogue as a way to promote enhanced human rights for the Armenian community, for Canadians, and for all visitors to the two museums.
St. Gregory Church in Toronto to Host Discussion featuring Hayk Demoyan and Atom Egoyan
A discussion between, Dr. Hayk Demoyan, Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute, and Atom Egoyan, internationally renowned filmmaker of Toronto, will be held at the St. Gregory Armenian Catholic Church in Toronto on October 6. Both intellectuals are involved in different but related research and projects on Aurora Mardiganian in terms of installations and/or exhibitions.
Aurora Mardiganian’s personal story was first published as Ravished Armenia in 1918 after she was approached in New York by a young screenwriter, who helped her write and publish her narrative, a very popular eyewitness report on the Armenian Genocide. The narrative was used for writing a film script that was produced in 1919. Mardiganian played herself in the silent film, reliving her trauma. Mardiganian was referred to in the press as a Joan of Arc, describing her as the spokesperson for the victims of the horrors that were then taking place in Turkey and the catalyst for the humanist movement in America. At its peak, the book sold more than 360,000 copies, and the film helped Near East Relief raise more than $100 million. The film was respected by critics and despite the sex and violence depicted, its subject matter made it above reproach.
One review stated, “Certainly there has never been a picture which brought more clearly to the minds of the spectators the horrible tortures which these people were made to suffer. The entire film is … so engrossing and realistic in its portrayal that one almost forgets that he is not witnessing the actual crimes.”
A clip from the original silent film will be shown as part of the program. The Zoryan Institute had the foresight to interview Aurora Mardiganian in the late 1980s, as part of its Oral History Program. A clip from that interview will also be shown
On this occasion Dr. Demoyan, as Secretary of the National Commission on the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, will also give an update on the planned centennial activities.