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Adrienne Alexanian to Speak on “Forced into Genocide: Memoirs of an Armenian Soldier in the Ottoman Turkish Empire”

FRESNO — Adrienne Alexanian will present a lecture entitled “ Forced into Genocide: Memoirs of an Armenian Soldier in the Ottoman Turkish Empire” at 7:30PM on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191 on the Fresno State campus. “Forced into Genocide” is a memoir written by her father, Yervant Alexanian, and edited by Adrienne Alexanian. It features an introduction by Dr. Sergio La Porta, Berberian Professor of Armenian Studies at Fresno State and a foreword by Dr. Israel Charny.

This presentation is sponsored by the Armenian Studies Program and the College of Arts Humanities at Fresno State, and co-sponsored by the AGBU and NAASR. It is part of the Armenian Studies Program Fall Lecture Series and is supported by the Leon S. Peters Foundation.

Forced into Genocide is the riveting memoir of Yervant Edward Alexanian, an eye-witness to the massacres and dislocation of his family and countrymen in Ottoman Turkey during World War I. His memoir is a one-of-a-kind “insider’s account” documenting the Genocide’s astonishing cruelty-but also its rare, unexpected acts of humanity.

This edition, translated from Alexanian’s hand-written Armenian language chronicle, includes never before seen documents and photos that the author preserved.

Adrienne Alexanian graduated on the Dean’s List from Hunter College with a bachelor’s degree, majoring in political science and minoring in education. She received a Master’s Degree in Education from Hunter College.

Alexanian has been active in the Armenian community as an NGO Representative at the United Nations for both the Armenian Diocese and the AGBU for 8 years. In that capacity she initiated, organized and moderated forums on the Nagorno-Karabakh War, the blockade of Armenia, Landmine Eradication, and the Armenian Genocide among others.

Alexanian has coordinated earthquake relief for the Armenian Diocese and chaired numerous fund raisers and major events. In 2010 she received the Ellis Island Award for her decades of volunteer work and philanthropy for the Armenian community.

Copies of “Forced into Genocide” will be on sale at the lecture.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Free parking, using a parking code, is available in Lots P6 and P5 near the University Business Center, Fresno State. The parking code can be obtained by contacting the Armenian Studies Program.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, or visit our website at or follow us on Facebook @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState or on Twitter @armstudiesfs.

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Joe Berlinger’s Armenian Genocide Film ‘Intent To Destroy’ Wins Best Documentary Award at 2017 DOC LA

LOS ANGELES ( — Joe Berlinger’s documentary about the Armenian genocide Intent to Destroy won the top Best Documentary Film Award at 2017 DOC LA. The film-in-film produced by Berlinger, Chip Rosenbloom and Eric Esrailian depicts the century of sophisticated denial campaigns by the Turkish government that perpetrated the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey, and features Atom Egoyan, Christian Bale, Mike Medavoy, Eric Bogosian, Serj Tankian, Angela Sarafian, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and the US ambassador John Marshall Evans.

DOC LA also gave out a number of other awards as well. Another standout film was Sebastien Paquet’s Mind Over Matter whicc won Best Screenwriting, Best Cinematography and took home the Audience Award. The documentary is about a man born with Cerebral Palsy who overcame his disability through sheer will to form a successful rock band. The film produced by Nate Adams was received with standing ovations.

The documentary VIF about Christian Audigier (whom Michael Jackson called “the King of Fashion”) won Best Director and Best Producer Awards for Didier Beringuer and Fabrice Sopoglian, respectively. It tells of Audigier’s phenomenal rise to fame and his tragic death from rare form of cancer, and includes intimate recollections from his friends including Snoop Dogg, Michael Madsen, Stephen Dorff, as well as features Sylvester Stallone, Kim Kardashian, Damond John, Don Cheadle and Ed Hardy.

Marion Cotillard’s environmental documentary The Girl and the Typhoons received the Best Environmental Film Award and the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award (whose past recipients include Martin Scorsese and Emma Thompson). The film documents the attempts of a young survivor to raise awareness about the aftermath of the typhoon disasters in her native Philippines.

Narrated by Cotillard and directed by Christoph Schwaiger, the documentary had it’s Los Angeles premiere at DOC LA.

Thee Alfred Molina-narrated Erdogan: The Dictator’s Republic by Ryan Joe Heilman had its world premiere at the festival, and received DOC LA Freedom Award and DOC LA Storyteller Award. The documentary by Inga Bremer was recognized with DOC LA Founder’s Award. Virginie Ledoyen was recognized for her role in David Koch’s “Witnesses” which is about the current conflict in dictator Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.

Michael Weatherly’s Telluride doc Jamaica Man about Nigel Pemberton won for Best Documentary Portrait, and Craig Detweiler’s Remand narrated by Angela Bassett, about LA lawyer Jim Gash and Tumusiime Henry, who inspired justice reform in Uganda, received DOC LA Justice Award and DOC LA Icon Award.

Ladies First by Uraaz Bahl, an inspirational survival story of Deepika Kumari, who was born on the roadside to abject poverty and at 16 become the number one archer in the world, won Best Short Documentary Award.

Grab and Run by Roser Corella about bride abduction epidemic in Kazakhstan received the Best International Documentary Award. He She I by Carlotta Kittel, the first feature length student film ever at DOC LA won the Best Student Film – Gold, while Sisterly by Nina Vallado, about finding deeper connection and friendship with her autistic sister, and Melissa Ferrari’s experimental animation Phototaxis, won Silver and Bronze, respectively.

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Armenian Council of Europe Supports Toranian and Tilbian

In a statement this week, the Armenian Council of Europe asserted its full support of Mr. Ara Toranian and Mr. Sam Tilbian in the defamation lawsuit brought against them by Maxime Gauin.

Gauin, an individual who not only denies the Armenian Genocide, but utilizes smear tactics in his rancorous blog pieces, usually posted by third-rate propaganda websites, is a constant provocateur with regard to the Armenian Genocide.

The ACE statement pointedly asks; Who is Maxime Gauin? Who finances Maxime Gauin? How is Maxime Gauin financially able to pursue this law suit?

The ACE statement continues to reassert its belief that within France, and unlike Turkey, those who adhere to the truth such Toranian (a journalist) and Talbian, should not be faced with such accusations within a courtroom. The courtroom should only be reserved for denialists.

Unfortunately, the ACE statement concludes, the Turkish state has been able to work behind the scenes in France to prevent on several occasions the adoption of a law penalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide.

ACE asks all those in support of Mr. Ara Toranian and Mr. Sam Tilbian to rally prior to the trials beginning at 1:30 p.m. The defamation trial is set to begin on October 17, 2017, at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, 4 Boulevard du Palais.

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New Documentary on Paramaz “RED” Premiered in Istanbul

Red, a documentary, directed by Mr. Kadir Akin, about the life, views and struggles of Matteos “Paramaz” Sarkissian, a leader of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, who was executed in 1915 along with his 19 Hunchakian comrades at Beyazıt Square, premiered in Istanbul on October 12, 2017.

The documentary, based on the book written by Mr. Akin “Armenian Revolutionary Paramaz – Armenian Socialists and Genocide from Abdulhamid to Ittihat Terakki” examined Paramaz’s statements, ideas, and actions, along with the Armenian Question in the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent Armenians Genocide.

Among those attending the premier were; Mr. Garo Paylan member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Mr. Alex Keushkerian, member of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Central Committee, representatives of Turkey’s; Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Republican People’s Party (CHP), Socialist Party of Refoundation (SYKP) and Party of Labour (EMEP), representatives of various institution, intellectuals and writers, as well as large number of Turkish citizens of Armenian descent.

After thanking the audience, Mr. Akin stated the documentary will be entered into international film festivals and be shown at special screenings throughout Turkey and the world.

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Turkish Policy of Violence Lies at the Root of Armenian Genocide Denial – Dogan Akhanli

BRUSSELS (Armradio) — Turkish regime’s policy of violence as a means of rule lies at the root of its denial of Armenian Genocide, says dissident writer Dogan Akhanli said in an interview with the EU Observer.

He is currently stuck in Madrid after Spanish police arrested him while he was on holiday on the basis of a Turkish Interpol request.

Turkey’s attempt to silence dissident writer Dogan Akhanli has backfired by giving him a bigger platform.

Akhnali was born in Turkey but fled to Germany in 1991 after being persecuted for his views on the Armenian Genocide and on Turkey’s repression of its Kurdish minority.

He also spent four months in a Turkish jail in 2010 after visiting the country.

“Turkish power cannot forgive me because I questioned the basic problems of Turkey,” he told the EU Observer.

The writer said his novels had not made him a celebrity. “I’m not a best-seller,” he said.

But he said that “Turkish persecution makes me more known year by year and makes my words bigger. It is actually a very stupid policy”.

He said Turkey’s latest attempt to deprive him of his freedom had inspired him to write a new book.

“I’m trying to write a report about my political-literary journey into the Turkish past, which is also my own past,” he told this website from Spain.

“I will take a very subjective view of my unfinished persecution, but I will also reflect on how to deal with the history of violence in German, Spanish, and Turkish society,” he said.

Akhanli said the Turkish regime had embraced violence as a means of rule. He said this lay at the root of its denial of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and of its killings of Kurdish separatists. He also said the regime’s nationalist ideology created a dangerous environment.

He recalled that Turkish generals “publicly threatened” Hrant Dink, a dissident journalist, in 2007 prior to Dink’s murder by a nationalist fanatic.

“Under the Erdogan government, the history of violence is not just a story. It is not passive. It is killing people before our very eyes,” he said, referring to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Akhanli said the EU ought to do more to promote democracy in Turkey.

“He [Erdogan] cannot continue to rule Turkey in the long term with only the support of the rural population. EU countries should side with the secular, democratic forces, not with the despot,” Akhanli said.

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Joe Berlinger’s ‘Intent To Destroy’ Acquired By Abramorama And Gathr Films

LOS ANGELES ( Abramorama and Gathr Films have acquired North American theatrical rights to the Joe Berlinger documentary Intent to Destroy, a film-within-a film that centers on the Armenian genocide of 1915 and was a critical favorite at this year’s Tribeca and Hot Docs film festivals. Abramorama will release the film theatrically on Nov. 10 in New York and Los Angeles followed by select cities nationwide. Gathr Films will then expand the release with one-night-only event screenings through its crowd-sourced theatrical distribution platform Theatrical On Demand.

Produced by Survival Pictures (The Promise), RadicalMedia, and Third Eye Motion Picture Company in association with Bloom Project, Berlinger’s 13th feature-length documentary embeds history with the story of director Terry George’s exploration of the genocide through his film The Promise. That includes the subsequent campaign launched by genocide deniers.

“We consider it a privilege to be part of this process and will work long and hard to insure that Intent to Destroy can be seen, and the message can be heard, in all corners of the country,” said Abramorama President Richard Abramowitz.

The film shines a light on the Armenian Genocide — whose witnesses and descendants are still fighting to be officially acknowledged as such by the international community including the United States: how it was carried out during World War I as the reign of the Ottoman Empire drew to a close, and how it laid the groundwork for the genocides that followed. Berlinger interviews historians, scholars, and high-profile filmmakers in his exploration of the tangled web of responsibility that has driven a century of denial by the Turkish government and its strategic allies.

“During our robust festival run, starting with Tribeca and Hot Docs and concluding with IDFA in November, I have been truly inspired by the amount of post-screening conversation this film has generated,” said Joe Berlinger. “The Gathr platform has long intrigued me and, combined with Abramorama’s strong ability to build a traditional theatrical audience for specialty films, I can’t think of better partners to continue our goal of expanding this important dialogue in a theatrical setting prior to the film’s digital and television release.”

Berlinger has won two Emmys and has been nominated in the feature doc category for an Oscar. His work includes Brother’s Keeper, the Paradise Lost trilogy, and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. Last summer, Netflix released Berlinger’s Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru, and earlier this year, his four-part docu-series Killing Richard Glossip generated one of Investigation Discovery’s highest ratings ever.

This summer saw the premiere of Berlinger’s latest project, an eight-part documentary series for Spike TV, Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio, about the deaths and disappearances of six young women. Later this year on SundanceTV, Berlinger’s four-part true crime docu-series Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders will re-examine the horrific slaughter of the Kansas family chronicled in Truman Capote’s landmark book and Oscar-nominated film In Cold Blood.

The deal for Intent to Destroy was negotiated by Karol Martesko-Fenster, Abramorama CCO and EVP, and Jake Craven, President of Gathr Films, and David Boyle on behalf of the filmmakers.

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Glendale Organizations Support Armenian American Museum

GLENDALE – Spokespersons for three Armenian American public affairs and advocacy organizations appeared at the Glendale City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 to express their support for the construction of the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California at the proposed site in downtown Glendale.

Speaking on behalf of the Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale, Margarita Baghdasaryan stated, “Our City needs a facility that will enrich our community with literary, visual, and performing arts.”

The Armenian Right Council of America – Glendale spokesperson Dr. Raffi Balian remarked, “The construction of a cultural, educational, and art center will be in line with our City growth. The Museum will serve the purpose of making Glendale a better place for all.”

“The Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center will put Glendale on the map as a beacon of tolerance, where multi-culturalism is celebrated and diversity is embraced,” added the the Armenian Council of America representative Christine Aghakhanian.

The Armenian American Museum and City of Glendale officials in September initiated discussions on the ground lease of space across from the City’s Central Library for the construction of the museum. The area for the museum was suggested by the Glendale City Council and both parties initiated feasibility studies to determine the possibility of building the museum on top of a public parking structure to be constructed by the City.

The Armenian American Museum has concluded its feasibility studies and communicated to the City the area at Central Park that is needed for the Museum and Cultural Center. At the end of 2016, the City hired an urban design and architectural firm to design the subterranean parking structure and develop alternatives for public recreational uses within the area to be designated to the Central Library, the Adult Recreation Center, and proposed museum.

The Armenian American Museum plans to launch community outreach efforts in October to receive the input and feedback of Glendale residents and people interested in the Armenian American Museum.

About Armenian American Museum
The Armenian American Museum is a developing project in Glendale, CA, with a mission to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Armenian American experience. When completed, it will serve as a cultural campus that enriches the community, educates the public on the Armenian American story, and empowers individuals to embrace cultural diversity and speak out against prejudice.

The governing board of the Armenian American Museum consists of representatives from the following ten Armenian American institutions and organizations: Armenian Catholic Eparchy, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, Armenian General Benevolent Union – Western District, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Relief Society – Western USA, Nor Or Charitable Foundation, Nor Serount Cultural Association, Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, and Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

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The Promise Director Terry George and Co-producer Eric Esrailian Visit Tsitsernakaberd

YEREVAN — On Saturday, two days after the celebration of the 26th anniversary of Armenia’s independence, The Promise director Terry George and co-producer Eric Esrailian paid a symbolic and emotional visit to Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex. Esrailian and George, who arrived in Yerevan on Thursday afternoon to attend a series of events devoted to The Promise, were accompanied by Armenia’s Minister of Culture Armen Amiryan and AGBU Central Board members.

The visit to Tsitsernakaberd has been a true highlight for George. Never intimidated to speak up against genocides, he depicted their horrors in his historical dramas Hotel Rwanda and The Promise. “This visit sums up everything that I worked for over the last four years and brings into focus what really cinema and the power of cinema can be about, to try to commemorate the loss of lives and the horrible crime that was committed. So, this is the most emotional moment of the whole production of The Promise itself, the most important moment of the project,” said George.

George and Esrailian paid tribute to the Armenian genocide victims with a moment of silence as they laid flowers at the eternal flame. They also planted a tree in the Memory Alley to honor the memory of the late Kirk Kerkorian, the legendary man who tirelessly worked to bring The Promise to big screens, and toured in the genocide museum.

“This tree symbolizes the ever-growing reach of the Armenian story. Kirk Kerkorian planted the seed, and Terry, Mike Medavoy, and I have been honored to work with our incredible cast and crew to share this story with the world. We must never let the world forget our past, and we must move forward together support others in need. Under Kirk Kerkorian’s direction, we followed through on his wishes for the film. Today, we honor his life and the lives of those lost over a hundred years ago,” said Esrailian, co-producer of The Promise.

On Friday, they spoke to the local journalists and attended “We Promise” musical tribute—inspired by The Promise and based on its original score—which premiered at the Opera Theater in Yerevan. Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian, Prime Minister Karen Karapetian, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, AGBU President Berge Setrakian along with foreign ambassadors and dignitaries attended the spectacular.

“Armenians across the globe watched their significant past unfold on screen for the first time in a wide-release Hollywood production. It is difficult to express our global gratitude for the efforts of the late Kirk Kerkorian and to those who worked as allies in telling this story, specifically our guests Terry, Eric and their co-producers. They confronted countless challenges over the years and succeeded despite all odds. We are honored to dedicate a few events, including the musical tribute at the Yerevan Opera Theater to the film,” said Berge Setrakian.

The Promise is a major historical drama depicting the Armenian Genocide through a touching love story. After its mainstream release in the United States and Canada in April, The Promise continues to open in theaters across the world. Produced by Kerkorian’s Survival Pictures and directed by renowned, Academy Award-winning director Terry George, The Promise features an all-star international cast, including Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale, Charlotte Le Bon, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Angela Sarafyan. The movie’s original score was created by Oscar-winning composer Gabriel Yared with the title song “The Promise” written and performed by the late Chris Cornell. All proceeds from the film have been designated to various charities with an emphasis on human rights causes.

For more information about The Promise, please visit

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Fresno State Panel Discussion on “Armenians and Turks: Challenges and New Paths Forward towards Reconciliation”

FRESNO — “Armenians and Turks: Challenges and New Paths Forward towards Reconciliation” will be the topic of a panel discussion at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191 on the Fresno State campus. The event is part of the Fall Lecture Series of the Armenian Studies Program.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Jay Pope, Associate Professor of Psychology at Fresno Pacific University. For centuries, a coherent literature on forgiveness was virtually non-existent and was generally limited to individual perspectives of theologians and pastors writing about forgiveness as a doctrinal subject within religious faith. In the last 30 years, however, forgiveness has emerged as a powerful psychological construct, addressed by many branches of the social sciences both theoretically and practically. In his presentation, Dr. Jay Pope briefly traces the history of forgiveness and its religious and psychological implications, especially as it pertains to the Armenian experience with Turkey.

Joining Dr. Pope on the panel will be Kathleen Chavoor-Bergen, M.A. (School therapist in the Fresno Unified School District) who will speak on “Behavioral and Unconscious Experience and Expressions of Multigenerational Collective Trauma”; Noelle (Daoudian) Nightingale, M.A. (Mediator and President of Nightingale Dispute Consultants) on “Bringing about Recognition and Reconciliation”; Ali Kalkandelen, M.A., one of the initiators of the Armenian Turkish Peace Initiative (ATPI); and Zekai Tanyar, B. Sci., one of the founders of the Alliance (later Association) of Protestant Churches in Turkey in 1989 and current ATPI coordinator for Turkey.

The panel discussion is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in Lots P6 and P5 near the University Business Center, Fresno State. Please use permit code 273808 at a campus kiosk to receive a free parking permit.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState or on Twitter @armstudiesfs.

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Armenian Museum of America Presents the Exhibition Scars of Silence

WATERTOWN, MA — The Armenian Museum of America has announced a new special exhibition titled Scars of Silence that will open this fall in the Adele and Haig Der Manuelian galleries on the 3rd floor of the Museum.

The exhibition, curated by Jennifer Liston Munson, includes excerpts from a film by Nubar and Abby Alexanian and photographs by Nubar Alexanian. Scars of Silence chronicles Armenian-American father and daughter as they embark on a journey to their ancestral homeland as a powerful act of reparative resistance.

The work reveals the legacy of the Armenian Genocide (1915–1923), bringing to the surface the profound consequences of Turkish denial—psychological and political—that have contributed to the subconscious suppression of loss for three generations and offers a timely and provocative personal account of what it means to be Armenian today.

The exhibition runs from September 28, 2017 to January 27, 2018 at 65 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472

Scars of Silence (formerly Journey to Armenia) from Walker Creek Media, LLC on Vimeo.

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'Genocide Monument'

Using the unrecognized Genocides of the past as a reason to keep vigilance on all current ones around the world. The iPhone app is now available free on the Apple App Store. The Android and Blackberry versions of 'Genocide Monument' are currently being funded for production.