ENGAGING TURKEY by Ara Sarafian
Nov
7
7:30 PM19:30

ENGAGING TURKEY by Ara Sarafian

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Can Armenians in the diaspora have a voice and engage Armenian issues in Turkey today? Can they do so in a meaningful manner? These are critical questions that our speaker, Ara Sarafian, has probed in Turkey over the past 30 years. His work has ranged from working in Turkish archives and probing official Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide to building bridges with Turkish civil society organisations for peace and reconciliation. He has worked with Turkish historians, human rights' activists, and members of civil society organisations. His focus has been on Istanbul, Diyarbakir and Bitlis. In his illustrated talk, Engaging Turkey, he will give insights into his own activities in Turkey - focusing on Diyarbakir and Bitlis - and discuss how diaspora Armenians might engage new, meaningful opportunities addressing Armenian issues in the years ahead.

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Ara Sarafian is a historian specialising on late Ottoman and modern Armenian history. He is also the executive director of the Gomidas Institute in London.





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ONE THOUSAND AND ONE SONGS, ONE THOUSAND AND ONE JOKES By Nairi Khatchadourian
Nov
20
7:30 PM19:30

ONE THOUSAND AND ONE SONGS, ONE THOUSAND AND ONE JOKES By Nairi Khatchadourian

  • Nevarte Gulbenkian Armenian Church Hall (map)
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Komitas @ 150 Event Series

Centuries-old oral traditions create a rich tapestry of the human experience. One of the pioneers of ethnomusicology, Komitas Vartabed (Kütahya, 1869 – Paris, 1935) devoted his life to collecting and spreading Armenian folk and sacred musical traditions. He travelled to remote regions of Armenia, participating in local ceremonies and feasts and observing everyday activity and labour, ultimately collecting over 4,000 pieces of folk music. Komitas approached music as a social process and practice, a human activity, shaped by its environment and cultural context.

Sketch by Komitas Vardapet.

Sketch by Komitas Vardapet.

Nairi Khachadourian will share her research about Komitas, his career and complex personality, highlighting his humour and jokes as depicted in correspondence and memoirs. The evening will end by learning and singing a traditional Armenian song from those gathered by Komitas. 

Admission: £5 to include a wine reception.

Nairi Khatchadourian

Nairi Khatchadourian

Nairi Khatchadourian, until recently Head of Exhibitions and Education at the Komitas Museum-Institute in Yerevan. is a curator, educator and artist born in Paris, France.  She researches a range of ethnographic contexts and music history and their many contemporary resonances. Nairi leads educational workshops in Europe and the Middle East and her “lullabies singing workshop” was selected among the five “Best Practice” museum education programmes in 2016 by the International Council of Museums. For the 150th anniversary of Komitas’s birth, Nairi curated the exhibition “Pieces” at the Komitas Museum and the open-air poster exhibition “The Future Thinker” in the Komitas Park.

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LULLABIES SINGING WORKSHOP Led by Nairi Khatchadourian
Nov
21
7:30 PM19:30

LULLABIES SINGING WORKSHOP Led by Nairi Khatchadourian

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This workshop will introduce Armenian folk lullabies in a range of local dialects. The collective singing workshop will help to discover our natural voice and the threads of connection we weave during this night-time ritual.   Lullaby songs will be taught orally. Scores with translated and transliterated word sheets will be provided, but no professional knowledge of singing is required. The workshop is open to all who are interested in singing lullabies and who would like to discover the Armenian tradition. Parents are welcome to come with their children. 

Admission: £10 (free for children)

Nairi Khatchadourian, until recently Head of Exhibitions and Education at the Komitas Museum-Institute in Yerevan. is a curator, educator and artist born in Paris, France.  She researches a range of ethnographic contexts and music history and their many contemporary resonances. Nairi leads educational workshops in Europe and the Middle East and her “lullabies singing workshop” was selected among the five “Best Practice” museum education programmes in 2016 by the International Council of Museums. For the 150th anniversary of Komitas’s birth, Nairi curated the exhibition “Pieces” at the Komitas Museum and the open-air poster exhibition “The Future Thinker” in the Komitas Park.

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Film screening: TANIEL By Garo Berberian
Oct
5
7:30 PM19:30

Film screening: TANIEL By Garo Berberian

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The Film

‘’Taniel’’ is a multi-award winning short arthouse film about the last days of Taniel Varoujan. Film Noir in style, “Taniel” pays homage to the era of dramatic filmmaking with extreme lighting and camera angles. The narrative is mostly heard through poetry, with Varoujan poems in Armenian expressing the emotions in each of the scenes; and narrative poetry in English delivered with an emotive depth of feeling by Sean Bean.

Taniel is currently taking part in the film festival circuit. It won several awards, just returning from Fresco International Film Festival with its 8th award. Taniel has been recognised with two awards at the Bermuda International Film Festival, Best Short Film awards at ARPA and L’age D’Or International Film Festivals and Don Quixote special mention award at Avanca Festival, amongst others. The film was also selected by a number of festivals all over the world, including Sydney, Toronto, Bucharest, Washington DC, Buenos Aires etc, as well as by the Golden Apricot International Film Festival, Shetland’s Screenplay Festival, curated by Mark Kermode; and one of the oldest festivals in Europe in Montecatini. Taniel also had some very special screenings at The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan and the iconic Lincoln Center in New York.

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The team also had two emotional screenings recently, tracing the poet’s footsteps in Istanbul, at Hrant Dink Foundation; and at Ghent University in Belgium where he studied; and are looking forward to sharing the film with the London’s audiences.

The Team 

Director - Garo Berberian is a British filmmaker born in London. Garo graduated from Berkshire School of Art and Design with a merit in Photography. He then moved into Broadcast Television, rising up through the ranks from editor to director, working on numerous award-winning television, documentary and commercial campaigns. Garo’s first short film - “Return of the Tyke”, was the winner of the Best Short audience award at the 2014 ARPA film festival in Los Angeles. He is currently working on several new projects, including the adaptation of Iris Murdoch’s The Italian Girl; and a documentary on a pioneering female DJ, Sam Divine. 

Producer – Nare Ter-Gabrielyan 

DOP and English Poetry – Ben Hogson 

Poetry producer – Tatevik Ayvazyan

Actors:

Narrator – Sean Bean 

Varoujan – Tigran Gaboyan 

Voice of Varoujan – Yegya Akgun

Araxie – Shoghakat Mlke-Galstian 



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Book launch: CAUCASUS: AN INTRODUCTION By Thomas de Waal
Sep
19
7:30 PM19:30

Book launch: CAUCASUS: AN INTRODUCTION By Thomas de Waal

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Thomas de Waal’s book on the South Caucasus, The Caucasus: An Introduction gives the general reader a fascinating tour of the history and contemporary politics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Its second edition brings the story up to date with a new chapter which takes in Armenia’s Velvet Revolution.

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As well as giving us an authoritative guide to the politics and conflicts of the region, de Waal finds time to tell us about Georgian wine, Baku Jazz and how the coast of Abkhazia was known as “Soviet Florida.”

Stimulating and rich in detail, The Caucasus is the perfect guide to this incredible region. 

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Thomas de Waal is a Senior Associate on the Caucasus at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of Black Garden and co-author with Carlotta Gall of Chechnya.

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Book launch: ONLY THE DEAD: A LEVANTINE TRAGEDY by T. J. Gorton
Sep
12
7:30 PM19:30

Book launch: ONLY THE DEAD: A LEVANTINE TRAGEDY by T. J. Gorton

As old Vartan sits reading mystical Persian poetry amongst the dust and disintegration of war-torn Beirut, the fluted pillars of his decaying house wreathed in shadows, his thoughts wander back, inevitably, to another conflict, many years before…

Only the Dead is the story of Vartan Nakashian, a young Armenian from Aleppo caught in the midst of a world war that is proving catastrophic for his people. We follow his journey of love, espionage, tragedy, betrayal and revenge across the tumultuous Levant of 1915–18, as the crucible of war and genocide makes a man of the boy we first encountered. Now advanced in years, Vartan ruminates on life, loss, guilt and the many adventures and horrors of his youth, seeing them mirrored in the fresh catastrophe of the Lebanese Civil War.

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This book – based in part on a real man, a true story – is about the struggle to reconcile conflicting loyalties and affections, the desire for revenge, the search for atonement and poetry’s power to make sense of the human condition.

T.J. Gorton studied Arabic in Beirut and Oxford before his first job as lecturer in Arabic Studies at St Andrews. He went on to live for many years in the Middle East and Arabia and has written or edited six other books about the region. He lives with his Lebanese archaeologist wife between London and South West France.

Admission: £5 to include a wine reception.

The event is organised in association with AGBU Young Professionals of London.

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“SUBLIME AND CELESTIAL”: PIETRO BIANCHINI AND A VENETIAN ODE FOR THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCH By Dn. Haig Utidjian, PhD
Jul
7
6:00 PM18:00

“SUBLIME AND CELESTIAL”: PIETRO BIANCHINI AND A VENETIAN ODE FOR THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCH By Dn. Haig Utidjian, PhD

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This lecture will present a transcription and arrangement of the ode Ընտրեալըդ յԱստուծոյ (“Elect of God”) by the greatest unsung hero in Armenian sacred music – the Venetian composer, violinist and conductor Pietro Bianchini (1828-1905), as performed in the nineteenth century in San Lazzaro in Venice. It serves as a wonderful witness from an age and milieu enriched by enormously fruitful interactions between Armenian and European music, literature and theology, and involving such extraordinary personages as Yeghia Tntesian, Fr. Ghewond Alishan and Abp. Ignatios Kiwreghian. The presentation is a culmination of research carried out at the archives of St. Mark’s in Venice, the Armenian island of San Lazzaro and at the Library of Congress, and will include live and recorded musical illustrations.

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Haig Utidjian, PhD, is an orchestral conductor, chorus master and musicologist. In his native Cyprus he was a pupil of Abp. Zareh Aznavorian of blessed memory, and is a Senior Deacon of the Armenian Church, with research interests in the musicology and theology of the Armenian Hymnal and the works of St. Gregory of Narek. He was decorated with the Komitas medal, and the Hakob Meghapart medal of the National Library of Armenia.

Admission | £5 to include a wine and nibbles reception

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Book launch: FEAST OF ASHES: THE LIFE AND ART OF DAVID OHANNESSIAN By Sato Moughalian
Jun
22
7:00 PM19:00

Book launch: FEAST OF ASHES: THE LIFE AND ART OF DAVID OHANNESSIAN By Sato Moughalian

Feast of Ashes is the life story of Armenian ceramicist David Ohannessian, whose work changed the face of Jerusalem—and a granddaughter's search for his legacy.

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Along the cobbled streets and golden walls of Jerusalem, brilliantly glazed tiles catch the eye. These colourful wares—known as Armenian ceramics—are iconic features of the Holy City. Silently, these works of ceramic art—art that graces homes and museums around the world—also represent a riveting story of resilience and survival. In the final years of the Ottoman Empire, as hundreds of thousands of Armenians were forcibly marched to their deaths, one man carried the secrets of this age-old art with him into exile toward Syria.

Young men drawing designs on pottery, c. 1922. (Library of Congress, Matson Collection)

Young men drawing designs on pottery, c. 1922. (Library of Congress, Matson Collection)

In 1919 David Ohannessian founded the art of Armenian pottery in Jerusalem, where his work and that of his followers is now celebrated as a local treasure. Born in an isolated Anatolian mountain village, Ohannessian mastered a centuries-old art form in Kütahya, witnessed the rise of violent nationalism in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire, endured arrest and deportation in the Armenian Genocide, founded a new ceramics tradition in Jerusalem under the British Mandate, and spent his final years, uprooted, in Cairo and Beirut. Feast of Ashes weaves together family narratives with newly unearthed archival findings into a detailed account of the transfer of an Anatolian art to Jerusalem and the survival of one family.

Sato Moughalian is an award-winning flutist in New York City and Artistic Director of Perspectives Ensemble, founded in 1993 to explore and contextualize works of composers and visual artists. Since 2007, Ms. Moughalian has also traveled to Turkey, England, Israel, Palestine, and France to uncover the traces of her grandfather's life and work, has published articles, and gives talks on the genesis of Jerusalem's Armenian ceramic art.

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ARMENIAN TOWN HALL MEETING
Jun
20
7:30 PM19:30

ARMENIAN TOWN HALL MEETING

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Join us on Thursday, 20th June for a discussion on the Velvet Revolution where we will be assessing the impact the new administration has had since they came to power. We will be exploring their economic, foreign and social policies; where have they been making great strides, what areas need more attention, what does the future of Armenia look like, has the momentum of the revolution lost its steam? Featuring panelists from across different sectors we will be exploring these topics and more.

Featured speakers:
Lilit Gevorgyan - Russia and CIS principal economist at IHS Markit
Andre Simonian - Singer/songwriter/producer
Arthur Poghosyan - Associate Director, Financial Institutions at EBRD
Tatevik Muradyan - Broker at Lockton Companies

Wine and nibbles reception to follow.

Photo courtesy of Raffi Youredjian

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THE CANTORELLI CHOIR: SACRED MUSIC, FOLKSONGS, MOTETS AND MADRIGALS
Jun
15
7:30 PM19:30

THE CANTORELLI CHOIR: SACRED MUSIC, FOLKSONGS, MOTETS AND MADRIGALS

A CONCERT with arrangements of Armenian folksongs by Komitas, excerpts from the Divine Liturgy by Yekmalian along with music from England, Italy and Spain 

The Cantorelli Choir

A Vocal Octet

Admission £10, students £5, children under 12 free. Wine reception to follow

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In association with the Armenian Institute and St Sarkis Parish Council.

The Cantorelli, a vocal octet based in West Yorkshire, have an extensive repertoire of European choral music from medieval times to the present day. Formed 30 years ago, the group performs a capella. 

In this 150th anniversary year of the birth of Komitas, this concert features his arrangements of traditional songs. Members of Cantorelli fell in love with Armenian singing when listening to a capella choirs during their visit to Yerevan, Tatev and Dilijan. They undertook the challenge of sourcing the sheet music and learning the religious and secular songs in a new language, determined to add Armenian pieces to their repertoire. The concert includes well-loved pieces from around Europe and will be followed by an opportunity to meet the artists at a reception in the nearby Nevarte Gulbenkian Hall. 

To book tickets in advance through Eventbrite, please click on the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/armenian-institute-15242543109 

www.cantorelli.co.uk

www.armenianinstitute.org.uk

info@armenianinstitute.org.uk

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PRESENCING AN ABSENCE: ACCOUNTABILITY AND MEMORY IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE By Dr Armen Marsoobian
Jun
6
7:30 PM19:30

PRESENCING AN ABSENCE: ACCOUNTABILITY AND MEMORY IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE By Dr Armen Marsoobian

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The erasure of most signs of the Armenian presence in its historic homeland was particularly pronounced during and after the genocide. Tentative steps of redress have taken place in the last decade, both within and outside of Turkey. A number of memory projects employing a variety of media to repair this cultural loss have taken place. These along with my own decade-long memory project employing family memoir and photography will be described. These projects both personalize the trauma and highlight the resilience of Armenians. My project is based upon an historic archive of Ottoman-era photographs, glass negatives, drawings, and original documents preserved by the Dildilian family, many of whose members were professional photographers. Based upon extensive memoirs, a richly illustrated narrative of this extended family was recreated.

Admission: £5 to include reception with wine and refreshments.

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Armen T. Marsoobianis Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University and editor of the journal Metaphilosophy.He publishes in American Philosophy, aesthetics, moral philosophy and genocide studies, co-editing seven books, most recently,Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Genocide and Memory. His award-winning book, Fragments of a Lost Homeland: Remembering Armenia, is based upon extensive research about his family. A companion volume, Reimagining a Lost Armenian Home: The Dildilian Photography Collectionwas recently published. Exhibitions based on the collection were mounted in Turkey, Armenia, Great Britain and the United States. 

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ANJAR 1939-2019: A FILM, A BOOK by Hossep Baboyan and Vartivar Jaklian
Apr
7
6:00 PM18:00

ANJAR 1939-2019: A FILM, A BOOK by Hossep Baboyan and Vartivar Jaklian

Anjar, a town of several thousand inhabitants, is located Lebanon’s Bekaa valley.  It was conceived, designed and initial construction begun between the end of the 1930s and the early1940s. Anjar was built from scratch by its majority Armenian population, survivors of the Armenian Genocide, originally from Musa Dagh in present-day Turkey.   

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In collaboration with Anjar City Municipality, Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, the Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena, Hossep Baboyan and Vartivar Jaklian are developing a documentary project on Anjar. They are creating a documentary film and a book about its urban planning and architectural heritage. The film includes footage of interviews with Anjar residents as well as the cityscape taken over the past few years. One hundred photographs, documenting the  architecture of Anjar along with essays and drawings will make up the book. 

 This ambitious and unique project represents groundbreaking multidisciplinary work.  The presentation will include a preview of the photographs to be exhibited in Anjar in September 2019 as well as an excerpt from the film. 

Admission: £5 to include a wine reception

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Architect and film-maker, Hossep Baboyan trained in Architecture and Fine Arts at the Institut des Beaux Arts in Beirut, continuing his studies in architecture in Venice  at IUAV Università where he specialised in documentary film-making.  He has collaborated with Latcol Associates on several urban projects.

Architect and architectural photographer, Vartivar Jaklian trained at IUAV Università in Venice. In 2005 he started his practice with Professor M Carapetian, co-founding Latcol Associates and in 2012 founded the architectural practice vartivar jaklian AAP. His interests include studies of urban analysis and architecture, among these, Oscar Niemeyer’s International Fair in Tripoli, and Karm el Zeitoun Quarter in Beirut.

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SWALLOWS AND ARMENIANS by Karen Babayan
Mar
30
7:30 PM19:30

SWALLOWS AND ARMENIANS by Karen Babayan

The fictional Walker children are much-loved characters in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, a quintessentially English family in an archetypal English children’s classic. But it was an Anglo-Armenian family that provided the inspiration for the Walkers, and now with a new book of short stories, fellow Anglo-Armenian artist Karen Babayan has embarked on a mission to firmly re-establish the connection using newly-appraised correspondence and diaries.

Taqui, Susan, Mavis (known to her family as Titty), Roger and Brigit Altounyan lived in Aleppo in Syria. They met Ransome during a summer holiday of sailing, fishing and camping in the Lake District in 1928. Their experiences of learning to sail on Coniston Water inspired the author and journalist to write his first book of fiction for children.

Karen Babayan, Here are the Swallows!,model boat with digital print 2017

Karen Babayan, Here are the Swallows!,model boat with digital print 2017

Dr Karen Babayan was born in Iran to Armenian/British parents, moving to Leeds in November 1978 just prior to the Islamic Revolution of January 1979. Babayan is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work engages with audiences through the visual and performing arts and creative writing. In 2016 she gained a PhD in Contemporary Art Practice from Leeds Beckett University, and was awarded C-Art Cumbria Artist of the Year.

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Book launch: SECRET NATION: THE HIDDEN ARMENIANS OF TURKEY by Avedis Hadjian
Mar
23
7:30 PM19:30

Book launch: SECRET NATION: THE HIDDEN ARMENIANS OF TURKEY by Avedis Hadjian

It has long been assumed that no Armenian presence remained in eastern Turkey after the 1915 massacres. As a result of what has come to be called the Armenian Genocide, those who survived in Anatolia were assimilated as Muslims, with most losing all traces of their Christian identity.

In fact, some did survive and together with their children managed during the last century to conceal their origins. Many of these survivors were orphans, adopted by Turks, only discovering their `true' identity late into their adult lives. Outwardly, they are Turks or Kurds and while some are practising Muslims, others continue to uphold Christian and Armenian traditions behind closed doors.

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In recent years, a growing number of `secret Armenians' have begun to emerge from the shadows. Spurred by the bold voices of journalists like Hrant Dink, the Armenian newspaper editor murdered in Istanbul in 2007, the pull towards freedom of speech and soul-searching are taking hold across the region. Avedis Hadjian has travelled to the towns and villages once densely populated by Armenians, recording stories of survival and discovery from those who remain in a region that is deemed unsafe for the people who once lived there.

This book takes the reader to the heart of these hidden communities for the first time, unearthing their unique heritage and identity. Revealing the lives of a peoples that have been trapped in a history of denial for more than a century, Secret Nation is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide in the very places where the events occurred.


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Avedis Hadjian is a journalist and writer based in Venice. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg News, and Le Monde Diplomatique, among other international news outlets. His work as a correspondent has taken him to Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, China, the Caucasus, Turkey, and Latin America. He was educated in Buenos Aires and Cambridge.

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Film screening: WE ARE EGYPTIAN ARMENIANS
Mar
16
7:30 PM19:30

Film screening: WE ARE EGYPTIAN ARMENIANS

We Are Egyptian Armenians is a message of tolerance and acceptance of the others. It outlines Egypt during the time when it opened its doors to people from all over the world to live, work and share their culture with the society they live in.

Through the Armenians who came to Egypt after the Massacres of 1915 we follow the stories that were shared and transmitted from generation to generation.

This documentary shows (90 min) how Egypt gave the Armenians equal rights as citizens and allowed them to preserve their language, culture and heritage by building their own schools, sporting clubs and churches. Furthermore it demonstrates how the Armenians contributed to the Egyptian social and economic life by giving their best to their new homeland.

Production: Waheed Sobhi

Director: Waheed Sobhi, Hanan Ezzat

Script: , Eva Dadrian

___________

Admission £10 to include refreshments

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In Conversation: AN EVENING WITH DR RAZMIK PANOSSIAN & DR ARMINE ISHKANIAN
Feb
23
7:30 PM19:30

In Conversation: AN EVENING WITH DR RAZMIK PANOSSIAN & DR ARMINE ISHKANIAN

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Join us to hear Dr. Razmik Panossian in conversation with Dr. Armine Ishkanian, talking about the first five years of Dr. Panossian's work directing the Armenian Communities Department (ACD) at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Beginning with a world-wide tour, getting to know Armenian communities, Dr. Panossian initiated a number of projects himself and has supported many more in response to what he learned. These are spread around the world and include a focus on Western Armenian teaching but also on music and the arts, research by students and academics, scholarships, collaborations and other projects. The conversation will explore these, their impacts, and future direction of the ACD.

Admission £5 to include a wine and refreshments reception.

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Razmik Panossian is Director of the Armenian Communities Department at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, since 2013. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars, and various other academic publications on Armenian identity, diaspora and politics. He was the Director of Programmes at a Canadian governmental agency in Montreal devoted to international human rights promotion and democratic development, and has been a consultant for UNDP in NY. He obtained his PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2000. He has taught courses on nationalism, ethnic conflict, post-Soviet transition and democratisation at LSE and at SOAS.

Armine Ishkanian is Associate Professor and the Programme Director of the MSc in International Social and Public Policy in the Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics (LSE).  She has also just been appointed to serve from September 2019 as Associate Professor in Social and Economic Equity and as academic director of the Atlantic Fellows Programme, based at  the International Inequalities Institute, LSE.  Her research examines the relationship between civil society, activism, and social transformation.  She has published numerous peer reviewed academic articles on Armenia and is the author of two books, including Democracy Building and Civil Society in Armenia.  

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Book launch: MR FIVE PER CENT: THE MANY LIVES OF CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN, THE WORLD'S RICHEST MAN By Jonathan Conlin
Feb
21
7:30 PM19:30

Book launch: MR FIVE PER CENT: THE MANY LIVES OF CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN, THE WORLD'S RICHEST MAN By Jonathan Conlin

When Calouste Gulbenkian died in 1955 at the age of 86, he was the richest man in the world, known as ‘Mr Five Per Cent’ for his share of Middle East oil production. For half a century and through two world wars he brokered top-level oil deals, convincing governments and oil barons alike of his impartiality as an ‘honest broker’, and his advice was sought by Ottoman Sultans and Joseph Stalin alike. The latter recompensed him with Rembrandts from the Hermitage.  Today the companies Gulbenkian created, including Royal Dutch Shell and Total, are household names. Less well known is the lasting impact the international accords he negotiated had on the subsequent fortunes of Iraq, Venezuela, and many other oil producing countries. Gulbenkian's secrecy has meant that this remarkable legacy has remained hidden - until now. 

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Gulbenkian was no oilman; he saw an oilfield only once, aged nineteen. The son of a wealthy Armenian merchant in Istanbul, he was an investor, a deal-maker and a buccaneering entrepreneur. He thrived in the west, prospering in spite of popular anti-immigrant prejudice.  He never forgot his Armenian roots and endowed St Sarkis Church in London and the Gulbenkian Library in Jerusalem as well as donating to many other Armenian institutions and causes.  He became a British citizen and lived most of his life in England and France. He went to Portugal during the Second World War, remaining there for most of his last 13 years. However, a Foundation named after him was created in Lisbon, based on his wealth, and his art collection is currently displayed magnificently there, a lasting monument to his taste and determination.

 Jonathan Conlin’s compelling new biography is a fascinating examination of Calouste Gulbenkian’s complex and many-sided existence. Impeccably researched, it reveals the extraordinary story of the man who more than anyone else helped shape the modern oil industry. 

After his talk, the author will sign copies which will be available at a reduced price, with all proceeds going to the Armenian Institute.


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ARMENIAN INSTITUTE PRESENTS: HISTORY OF "BEAST ON THE MOON"
Feb
8
7:30 PM19:30

ARMENIAN INSTITUTE PRESENTS: HISTORY OF "BEAST ON THE MOON"

Hosted by Nouritza Matossian in association with the Armenian Institute

Join Nouritza Matossian in conversation with the cast and director for a post-show discussion and Q&A. This post-show discussion touches on the history of the play from its very beginnings in London and explores with the director and cast the cultural and emotional phantoms which threaten to break apart the immigrant couple.

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Nouritza Matossian is a writer, actor, film-maker, broadcaster and human rights activist. She supported the first ever production of Beast on the Moon at the Battersea Arts Centre in 1996.

Post-show discussions and are free to ticketholders for that evening's performance.

Ticket bookingshttps://www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/productions/2018/beast-on-the-moon.php
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-6ajxNzPMA

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WRITING WORKSHOP WITH JELENA BUDIMIR (Director of Beast on the Moon)
Feb
2
1:00 PM13:00

WRITING WORKSHOP WITH JELENA BUDIMIR (Director of Beast on the Moon)

  • Armenian Institute | Lower ground floor of N Gulbenkian Hall (map)
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Jelena Budimir is Director at All Ignite Theatre and currently, of Beast on the Moon. She runs writing workshops for ArtsDepot’s Creative Circle and ran the writing programme at Chickenshed Theatre including an annual week of new writing "Write Here, Write Now".  Jelena will lead a writing workshop to explore, in a fun way, a range of memories and stories through exercises, with the participants. No previous experience needed.  Beast on the Moon, the story of a young Armenian couple starting a new life in the US after the genocide. Writer Richard Kalinoski has captured the stories of many and distilled them in this dramatic tale. Memories and stories are the root of so many plays and everybody has stories.

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Admission | £15 includes a voucher to see Beast on the Moon (can be used for any performance before 10 February 2019)

Beast on the Moon

29 January - 23 February 2019

Finborough Theatre | 118 Finborough Road | SW10 9ED

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-6ajxNzPMA

Ticket bookingshttps://www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/productions/2018/beast-on-the-moon.php

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TALK BY RICHARD KALINOSKI, AUTHOR OF BEAST ON THE MOON
Jan
31
3:00 PM15:00

TALK BY RICHARD KALINOSKI, AUTHOR OF BEAST ON THE MOON

We are very happy to announce that playwright Richard Kalinoskiwill be visiting the Armenian Institute to talk with those interested in hearing about the creation of his play Beast on the Moon, now showing at the Finborough Theatre.  Beast on the Moon won the 2001 Best Play for the Repertory prize at the Molière Awards and four other Molières.  The play has been translated into 20 languages and produced all over the world including Athens, Brussels, London, Moscow, New York, Prague, and others. A native of Wisconsin, USA, Mr Kalinoski has written other plays, including Men and CattleMy Soldiers, and more recently, The Boy Insidewhich earned Second Place in the Kennedy Center's Mark David Cohen National Playwriting Contest (2016).  

Many will have seen Beast on the Moonon its premiere in London at Battersea Arts Centre.  Don't miss this opportunity to hear the author talk about his work and also the chance to see this important play once more.  If you have not seen it, don't miss it this time!

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Admission 5 to include refreshments.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-6ajxNzPMA

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AFTER CHRISTOPHER WALKER: NEW APPROACHES TO MODERN ARMENIAN HISTORY AND THE GENOCIDE by Dr Rebecca Jinks
Jan
23
7:30 PM19:30

AFTER CHRISTOPHER WALKER: NEW APPROACHES TO MODERN ARMENIAN HISTORY AND THE GENOCIDE by Dr Rebecca Jinks

This lecture will discuss the work of the late historian of Armenia, Christopher J. Walker, before offering an overview of how the field of Armenian history has changed since Walker’s landmark works. In particular, the lecture will focus on the different approaches that historians have more recently been applying to the study of the Armenian genocide (and other genocides), and the different types of sources used in this work. These range from privileging survivor testimonies (both written and oral) as never before, using photography and other visual sources, to studying gender and childhood during the genocide. Together, these new approaches are contributing to a more comprehensive and multi-layered understanding of the Armenian genocide.

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Rebecca Jinks is a historian of comparative genocide and humanitarianism. Her first book, Representing Genocide: The Holocaust as Paradigm? (Bloomsbury, 2016)examines the ways in which representations of the Holocaust have influenced how other genocides are understood and represented, focusing on the ‘canonical’ cases of genocide – Armenia, Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda. Her current research project exploresgender, humanitarianism, and photography in the aftermath of the Armenian genocide, focusing on the fate of Armenian women genocide survivors and their treatment by American and European humanitarians. 

Admission | £5 to include refreshments

In association with King’s College London Armenian Society

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Film screening: AN EVENING WITH HRANT DINK - Hrant Dink 2005
Jan
19
7:30 PM19:30

Film screening: AN EVENING WITH HRANT DINK - Hrant Dink 2005

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Nouritza Matossian presents the first screening of the filmed chronicle of Hrant Dink's only public appearance in London.  At the invitation of the Armenian Institute, Dink spoke to a packed house at the Kensington Central Library on April 5, 2005, on the 10th anniversary of the founding of his bilingual weekly Agos and the day after he had addressed the Turkish Parliament in Ankara. In upbeat tones, Dink gave his views on Armenians in Turkey and the Diaspora, his account of the Parliament meeting, his analysis of the politics of the day, his work for reconciliation based on an understanding of genocide history, his hopes for a peaceful resolution and the future of Armenia. The film enables a rare encounter with this extraordinary person. After the screening, Dr Hratch Tchilingirian, Associate Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, will comment on “Context and Challenges in Turkey Today”.

Join us to recall the bright spirit of our most cherished world-class peace activist and courageous human rights champion, Hrant Dink. (15 September 1954 - 19 January 2007)

 Drinks and refreshments to be shared.

Admission free with prior booking. Please click on the Eventbrite link below to book a seat. Seats will be guaranteed until 7.30 pm after which they will be made available to the waiting list.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hrant-dink-2005-tickets-54646990620

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SINGING IN EXILE a film by Nathalie Rossetti and Turi Finocchiaro
Jan
9
7:30 PM19:30

SINGING IN EXILE a film by Nathalie Rossetti and Turi Finocchiaro

Aram and Virginia, an Armenian couple from the diaspora, transmit an ancestral tradition of chant which is in danger of disappearing to a troupe of European actors. During the process of creating a new play, the couple takes the company on a trip to Anatolia where the Armenian civilization has been destroyed. Along the way, the questioning of the actors brings to the forefront the wealth of this culture:  the chant becomes a language of creation and sharing, the breath of life.

An initiatory journey where the sounds, the music, the words, the bodies and the cries impart a memory and a future.

Admission: £10 to include a wine reception.

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Turi Finocchiaro and Nathalie Rossetti are independent filmmakers. Turi Finocchiaro directs a small production company, Borak Films, and Nathalie Rossetti has participated in the Jungle Film of Basile Sallustion since 2005. Turi is from the documentary film world while Nathalie is more from the world of fiction. As documentary filmmakers, their interest is in artistic, historic and anthropological subjects. They have made many films, including Yiddish Soul and Luce's Besa: Against Blood Justice.

Akn, the Centre for Armenian Modal Chant Studies was founded in 1998 in Paris, as the continuation of the Akn choir’s experimental work since 1990. The Centre teaches traditional Armenian modal chant, by means of oral transmission. Akn publishes also CDs and books on these topics.

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Virginia Pattie Kerovpyan was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to Paris in the 1970's. She has performed and recorded with various early music ensembles, as well as contemporary music. Soloist of the Kotchnak and Akn ensembles, she has specialized in Armenian song since 1980. Her interpretation brings to the forefront the essence of this music making its discovery and transmission more accessible.

Aram Kerovpyan was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He learned to play the kanoun and studied the Near Eastern music system with Master musician Saadeddin Öktenay. Moving to Paris, he joined the Kotchnak ensemble, performing Armenian folk and troubadour music and in 1985, established the Akn ensemble specializing in Armenian liturgical chant. He is the master-singer of the Armenian cathedral in Paris since 1990. He is active in the world of theater as musician, teacher and composer. He holds a PhD in musicology and publishes about modal theory and history of Armenian liturgical music.

To watch the trailer with English subtitles, please click on the link below:

https://vimeo.com/67548950






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