GLENDALE—On Wednesday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m., there will be a screening of the silent film Ravished Armenia and an accompanying talk by film historian Anthony Slide at the Glendale Central Library, 22 Harvard Street (2nd floor), Glendale, CA 91205. The event is sponsored by the Glendale Public Library and co-sponsored by the Ararat-Eskijian Museum and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research.
Ravished Armenia, by Aurora Mardiganian (also called The Auction of Souls) was published in 1918, making it one of the very first genocide survivor memoirs to appear in English. Incredibly, within months of arriving in the U.S., Mardiganian was starring as herself for $15.00 a week in a film adaptation and reenacting horrifying scenes from the Armenian Genocide.
Directed by veteran filmmaker Oscar Apfel, the film garnered much attention in 1919 when it was first shown and was used to help raise money for Near East Relief. However, for many years Ravished Armenia was thought to be a lost film.
In the past 20 years, however, a portion of the film was rediscovered, and Richard D. Kloian of the Armenian Genocide Resource Center has produced an enhanced and edited 24-minute version to which he has carefully added an historical introduction, descriptive subtitles, well-chosen music, and a slideshow of production stills to create an important document. Kloian will be present the evening of the screening and dvds of the enhanced video will be on sale.
Film historian Anthony Slide is the author of more than seventy books on the history of popular entertainment and the former resident film historian of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1997, he published Ravished Armenia and the Story of Aurora Mardiganian, reprinting the original memoir as well as an in-depth documentation of the making of the film. He also interviewed Mardiganian late in her life and will play portions of this interview.
Illustrated Talk by Osman Koker
On Thursday, March 18, at 7:00 p.m., Osman Köker will present an illustrated talk (in English) entitled “Images of Armenians in Turkey 100 Years Ago” at the Glendale Central Library, 22 Harvard Street (2nd floor), Glendale, CA 91205. The event is sponsored by the Glendale Public Library and co-sponsored by the Ararat-Eskijian Museum, the Organization of Istanbul Armenians, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).
In 2005, Osman Köker first came to international attention when he organized the unprecedented exhibition “Sireli Yeghpayrs (My Dear Brother)” in Istanbul. Eventually seen by thousands of people, it presented photographs of Armenian life in pre-genocide Ottoman Turkey, drawn from a large collection of postcards owned by the collector Orlando Calumeno. In the five years since then, the exhibition has also been mounted in Paris, Munich, Koln, Frankfurt, and last year in Yerevan.
Köker originally intended to write a book about Armenian life in the Ottoman Empire, but with the discovery of the postcard collection the scope of the project changed. Following the exhibition he published the massive and beautifully-produced volume 100 Y?l Önce Türkiye’de Ermeniler, subsequently published in English as Armenians in Turkey 100 Years Ago, featuring hundreds of images showing where and how Armenians in the Ottoman Empire lived.
Osman Köker was also involved in the creation in 1996 of the Istanbul Turkish-Armenian daily Agos and Aras Publishing House, the only publishing house which publishes books in Armenian and books translated into Turkish from the Armenian. This will be his first public presentation in the United States. While in Los Angeles, Köker will also be presenting a paper at the UCLA conference “The Armenian Communities of Asia Minor” organized by the AEF Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA. The conference will be held on March 20.
For more information please contact Elizabeth Grigorian: (818) 548-3288 or email [email protected]; or contact NAASR at 617-489-1610 or [email protected]; Ararat-Eskijian Museum at 818-838-4862 or [email protected]; Ohannes Kulak Avedikian of OIA at 818-800-1976.