Armenia: a Land of Memory
The international Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day takes place yearly on April 24, marking the 1915 arrest and subsequent killing of the majority of the Istanbul-based Armenian leadership. This year, 2015, marks 100 years since the genocide. From 1915 until 1923, an estimated 1,5 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed during the massacres and deportations ordered by the Young Turks government.
On April 24 and the previous night, citizens of the Armenian capital Yerevan gather at the genocide memorial overlooking the city. Neither in Armenia nor the diaspora has the deep-rooted feeling of loss dissipated over the generations. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the memory of the genocide has formed the core of identity formation in the small independent republic.
Dozens of monuments have been built throughout the country to commemorate the tragedy. The unique shape of the monuments built during the soviet period attracted me to travel to Armenia to document them. While doing more research on the genocide and its memory, I expanded my work to the annual commemorations and the involvement of Armenian citizens and youth in these gatherings.