Global Community Engagement presents "Neighbors in Memory"

Two profiles facing each other

Photo Credit: Neighbors in Memory

Neighbors in Memory: The Entangled Legacy of the Armenian Genocide

Screening and Discussion
2 p.m. Oct. 29, 2023

Mandel G03

This two-hour event will be a unique look at one of the most consequential human rights violations in history. A special combination of an academic perspective and journalistic storytelling, this event will explore the history and the ongoing legacy of the Armenian genocide of 1915.

From the re-education journey of one Turkish-American, to the personal stories of Armenians of various backgrounds, the audience will witness the weight and veracity of this historical event and its legacy, through a variety of short videos that are part of the Neighbors in Memory initiative.

Featuring presentations from Prof. Lerna Ekmekçioğlu, columnist Ohannes Kılıçdağı, and video producer/storyteller Gonca Sönmez-Poole, the event will touch upon the story of TAWA (The Turkish-Armenian Women's Alliance), a grassroots alliance of women who met regularly between 2012-14 for the purpose of dialogue, and tackle how the troubled relations unfold today, leading to new waves of violence. We will include ample time for a question-and-answer session with a panel consisting of the presenters with the addition of visual artist Apo Torosyan and educator Laura Bilazarian-Purutyan, subjects in the previously screened videos.

Neighbors in Memory (NIM) is an entirely volunteer and unofficial group of individuals who are committed to awareness and education about human rights violations and their repercussions on a global scale. Founded in 2017 by Gonca Sönmez-Poole, NIM is the culmination of its founder's personal journey regarding the Armenian Genocide of 1915, a historic fact currently denied by the Turkish government and most Turks. After years of immersion into the history as well as the legacy of this genocide, Sönmez-Poole wanted to create a venue that would reflect her dual background in video storytelling and international human rights, leading the way to NIM.

The friends, supporters and advisors of NIM come from a variety of backgrounds, including a long list of Armenians from Turkey, the U.S. and mainland Armenia. The mission is to expand horizons and elevate the discussion, combining both academic as well as anecdotal perspectives, with the support of videos and films when available. The name "Neighbors in Memory" was inspired by a chapter in "Second-Hand Time" by Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature.

A note about content: The videos contain references to violence, genocide and war crimes.

Sponsored by the Global Community Engagement Program of the Samuels Center for Community Partnerships and Civic Transformation (COMPACT) and the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) minor, along with the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department.