LONDON—An evening of dialogue and discussion in memory of Hrant Dink featured the special screening of “Bolis,” a film by Eric Nazarian, at University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on January 27.
Hosted by the Armenian Studies program at the university, over 200 British, Turkish, Armenian and international students, faculty and invited guests were captivated by the powerful film and panel discussion that followed.
“This event is part of ongoing efforts to bring Turkish and Armenian students and audiences together for dialogue on the complexities of Turkish-Armenian relations,” said Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian (University of Cambridge), one of the organisers of the evening, along with Dr. Krikor Moskofian, director of Armenian Studies at SOAS.
Eric Nazarian introduced the film and explained that the initial inspiration for the project was instilled by news of Hrant Dink’s murder on January 19, 2007 in Istanbul. “I felt the need to make a film that explores the rich cultural and musical contributions of Armenians to the history of Istanbul and in some way honor Hrant’s memory and legacy as a bridge builder between Armenians, the Diaspora and Turks,” said Nazarian. “Bolis” examines the pain of the genocide through the act of storytelling between an Armenian oud musician and a Turkish antique store owner.
After the screening, a panel of distinguished speakers presented an analysis of the film against the background of current Turkish-Armenian tensions over the issue of the Genocide and the unresolved murder of Hrant Dink. The panel, moderated by Dr. Susan Pattie of the Armenian Institute, included scholar and author Dr. Kerem Oktem (Oxford University), archival historian Ara Sarafian and well-known columnist Koray Duzgoren. A lively question and answer followed with the filmmaker and the speakers.