Worldwide Reading for Armenia 2015

Among the numerous initiatives launched to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian Genocide is a reading of Armenian literary works on a grand scale. Organized by two cultural institutions in Germany, the initiative will honor the memory of Armenian intellectuals rounded up and killed on April 24, 1915, by presenting public readings of their works and those of later writers. On November 20, at the Bundespressekonferenz in Berlin, Dr. Rolf Hosfeld, director of the Lepsiushaus, and Ulrich Schreiber of the International Literature Festival Berlin, presented the initiative to representatives of the international press. The call issued by the organizers, reads as follows:

“Worldwide Reading Commemorating the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide on 24 April 2015”

“The International Literature Festival Berlin (ilb) and the Lepsiushaus Potsdam are calling for a worldwide reading on 24 April 2015 -the day that marks 100 years since the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.
Several hundred Armenian intellectuals – poets, musicians, parliamentary representatives and members of the clergy – were arrested in Constantinople (today Istanbul) on 24 April 1915, and deported to the Turkish interior where most of them were murdered. It was the start of a crime against humanity. The extermination of the Armenians during World War One was the first systematically planned and executed genocide of modern times. More than a million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire died during this genocidal campaign.
The events took place before the eyes of the whole world and were clearly documented by German, Austro-Hungarian, Italian, American, Scandinavian, Armenian and Ottoman sources as well as by a great number of historical research projects. As early as August 1915, The New York Times reported on a methodically planned program of ethnic cleansing and extermination which was unprecedented in history up to that time. The German Reich’s government, which was allied to the Ottoman Empire, reached the same conclusions without undertaking anything against what was happening.
The Turkish political world denies the Armenian Genocide up to the present day, although the facts have been known for more than a hundred years. The Indian writer Arundhati Roy has spoken publicly about this scandal on many occasions, including at the 2009 International Literature Festival Berlin. A great number of Armenian voices were silenced in 1915 and in the years thereafter. Since then, others have become loud and have spoken out against forgetting, among them an increasing number of voices from the democratic Turkish civil society. In remembrance of the victims and in association with the demand for international recognition of the genocide, we are calling for a worldwide reading on 24 April 2015, with literary texts from Armenian authors, among them Siamanto, Komitas, Yeghishe Charents, William Saroyan, Hovhannes Shiraz, Paruyr Sevak, Hakop Mntsuri, Silva Kaputikian and Hrant Dink.”
Since the first signatories Rolf Hosfeld, Konrad Kuhn, Ulrich Schreiber and Hasmik Papian endorsed the call, 250 others from 65 countries have added their names. Among the signatories are Nobel prize winners Elfried Jelinek, Mario Vargas Llosa, John M. Coetzee, Herta Müller, Orhan Pamuk, as well as Elif Shafak, Alberto Manguel, Breyton Breytenbach and John Ashbury.
As the organizers stated at the press conference, their hope is that readings will take place in many, many different cities throughout the world on April 21, 2015. Individuals and organizations interested in joining the initiative should contact The list of signatories as of November 17, 2014 includes the following:

Signatories World Wide Reading
in Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Yahia Belaskri, Algeria/ France
Amara Lakhous, Algeria/ Italia
Boualem Sansal, Algeria
Habib Tengour, Algeria/ France

María Teresa Andruetto, Argentina
Ana Arzoumanian, Argentina
Maria Cecilia Barbetta, Argentina/ Germany
Ariel Dorfman, Argentina/ Chile
Alberto Manguel, Argentina/ Canada/ France
Eduardo Sguiglia, Argentina

Tigran Mansurian, Armenia
Hasmik Papian, Armenia/ Austria

Pam Brown, Australia
Brian Castro, Australia
Peter Goldsworthy, Australia
Kevin Hart, Australia/ USA
Gail Jones, Australia
Herb Wharton, Australia

Christoph Haacker, Austria/ Germany
Josef Haslinger, Austria/ Germany
Wolfgang Hermann, Austria
Elfriede Jelinek, Austria
Gerald Jatzek, Austria
Elfriede Jelinek, Austria
Peter Stephan Jungk, Austria/ France
Konrad Kuhn, Austria/ Germany
Birgit Müller-Wieland, Austria/ Germany
Anna Maria Pammer, Austria/ Germany
Martin Pollack, Austria

Stefaan Van den Bremt, Belgium
David Van Reybrouck, Belgium

Vasyk Makhno, Belorussia/ USA

Ricardo Azevedo, Brazil
Rafael Cardoso, Brazil
João Paulo Cuenca, Brazil
Milton Hatoum, Brazil
Reinaldo Moraes, Brazil

Georgi Gospodinov, Bulgaria
Haralampi Oroschakoff, Bulgaria/ Germany/ France
Tzveta Sofronieva, Bulgaria

Jean Claude Awono, Yaounde

Paul Dutton, Canada
Émile Martel, Canada
Michael Ondaaatje, Canada
Jane Urquhart, Canada

Carmen Berenguer, Chile

Ha Jin, China/ USA
Liao Yiwu, China/ Germany

Héctor Abad, Colombia
Luis Galar, Colombia
Fernando Rendón, Colombia
Neftalí Sandoval-Vekarich, Colombia/ Serbia
Robert Max Steenkist, Colombia

Bora Ćosić, Croatia/ Germany
Dubravka Ugrešić, Croatia/ Netherlands/ USA

Janne Teller, Denmark

Alaa al-Aswani, Egypt

Hasso Krull, Estonia
Jüri Talvet, Estonia

Jörn Donner, Finland
J. K. Ihalainen, Finland

Yves Bonnefoy, France
Stéphane Chaumet, France
Christine Gardon, France/ Germany
G. M. Goshgarian, France
Michel Mossessian, France/ UK
Claude Mutafian, France
Bernard Noël, France
Florence Noiville, France
Pierre Terzian, France

Dogan Akhanli, Germany
Jan Assmann, Germany
Güner Yasemin Balci, Germany
Wolf Biermann, Germany
Maxim Biller, Germany
Manfred Bissinger, Germany
Hans Peter Bleuel, Germany
Mirko Bonné, Germany
Hans Christoph Buch, Germany
Mihran Dabag, Germany
Tanja Dückers, Germany
Christine Gardon, Germany
Corinna Kirchhoff, Germany
Konrad Kuhn, Germany/ Austria
Reimer Boy Eilers, Germany
Dieter M. Gräf, Germany
Dilek Güven, Germany
Claus Guth, Germany
Christoph Haacker, Germany/ Austria
Hannes Heer, Germany
Frank Heibert, Germany
Barbara Honigmann, Germany/ France
Ulrich Horstmann, Germany
Rolf Hosfeld, Germany
Willi Jasper, Germany
Nina Jurisch, Germany
Navid Kermani, Germany
Corinna Kirchhoff, Germany
Sibylle Knauss, Germany
Gerd Koenen, Germany
Judith Kuckart, Germany
Reinhard Kleist, Germany
Birgit Mahnkopf, Germany
Manfred Maurenbrecher, Germany
Markus Meckel, Germany
Petra Morsbach, Germany
Karl Otto Mühl, Germany
Herta Müller, Romania/ Germany
Hans-Christian Oeser, Germany
Elisabeth Plessen, Germany
Moritz Rinke, Germany
Viola Roggenkamp, Germany
Said, Germany
Norbert Scheuer, Germany
Folker Skulima, Germany
Thomas Schmid, Germany
Peter Schneider, Germany
Julius Schoeps, Germany
Ulrich Schreiber, Germany
Christa Schuenke, Germany
Hermann Schulz, Germany
Alice Schwarzer, Germany
Peter Völker, Germany
Wolf Christian von Wedel Parlow, Germany
Suse Weisse, Germany
Ernest Wichner, Romania/ Germany
Herbert Wiesner, Germany

Amanda Michalopoulou, Greece

Edwidge Danticat, Haiti/ USA

György Dragomán, Hungary
Andras Petöcz, Hungary
István Vörös, Hungary

Andri Snær Magnason, Island
Sigurdur Pálsson, Iceland

Dileep Jhaveri, India
Kapur, Manju, India
Pankaj Mishra, India/ UK

Afrizal Malna, Indonesia

Amir Hassan Cheheltan, Iran
Bahiyyih Nakhjavani, Iran/ France
Faraj Sarkohi, Iran

Fadhil Al-Azzawi, Iraq/ Germany
Samuel Shimon, Iraq/ UK

Dany Morrison, Ireland
Gabriel Rosenstock, Ireland

David Grossman, Israel
Amir Or, Israel
Chalfi, Raquel, Israel

Ortensia Visconti, Italy/ Spain

Eugenijus Ališanka, Latvia
Gintaras Grajauskas, Latvia

Viken Berberian, Lebanon/ USA
Jabbour Douaihy, Lebanon
Rawi Hage, Lebanon/ Canada
Iman Humaydan, Lebanon
Lola Koundakjian, Lebanon/ USA

Jean Portante, Luxembourg/ France

Ashur Etwebi, Lybia

Chloe Aridjis, Mexico/ UK
Coral Bracho, Mexico
Lydia Cacho, Mexico
Verónica Murguía, Mexico

Nyein Way, Myanmar

Leon De Winter, Netherlands
Geert Mak, Netherlands
Anneke Brassinga, Netherlands
Johannes Houwink ten Cate, Netherlands

Quito Nicolaas, Netherlands Antilles

Hamish Clayton, New Zealand
David Howard, New Zealand

Claribel Alegría, Nicaragua

Tope Folarin, Nigeria/ USA

Tom Egeland, Norway
Hilde Susan Jaegtnes, Norway
Erling Kittelsen, Norway

Badria Al Shihi, Oman

Ahmed Rashid, Pakistan

Mahmoud Abuhashhash, Palestine
Ala Hlehel, Palestine
Adania Shibli, Palestine/ Germany

Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru/ Spain

Anna Onichimowska, Anna, Poland
Rafał Skarżycki, Poland

Jorge Palma, Portugal

Republic of the Congo
Robinson Solo, Republic of the Congo

Elena Armenescu, Romania
Norman Manea, Romania/ USA
Varujan Vosganian, Romania

Vyacheslav Kupriyanov, Russia

Jovan Zivlak, Serbia

Michael Hvorecky, Slovakia

Aleš Debeljak, Slovenia

George Momogos, South Africa
Gertrude Fester, South Africa
John M. Coetzee, South Africa/ Australia
Breyten Breytenbach, South Africa/ France/ USA
Achmat Dangor, South Africa

Ko Un, South Korea

Francesc Capdevila, Spain
Quim Monzo, Spain

Leila Aboulela, Sudan/ UK

Lars Gustafsson, Sweden
Annika Thor, Sweden

Christoph Blum, Switzerland
Franz Hohler, Switzerland
Alberto Nessi, Switzerland
Peter Stamm, Switzerland

Hala Mohammad, Syria/ France

Dogan Akhanli, Turkey/ Germany
Agop J. Hacikyan, Turkey/ Canada
Sema Kaygusuz, Turkey
Rober Koptas, Turkey
Eylem Özdemir-Rinke, Turkey/ Germany
Orhan Pamuk, Turkey/ USA
Elif Shafak, Turkey/ UK

Martin Amis, UK/ USA
Kwame Anthony Appiah, UK/ USA
Priya Basil, UK/ Germany
Carol Birch, UK
Tim Parks, UK
Taiye Selasi, UK/ Italy
Nicholas Shakespeare, UK
George Szirtes, UK
Irvine Welsh, UK

Ostap Slyvynsky, Ukraine
Oksana Zabuzhko, Ukraine

Taner Akcam, USA
Shane Anderson, USA/ Germany
John Ashbery, USA
Kathryn Babayan, USA
Peter Balakian, USA
Charles Bernstein, USA
Noam Chomsky, USA
Carolyn Forche, USA
Ronald Grigor Suny, USA
Marilyn Hacker, USA
Joy Harjo, USA
Robert Hass, USA
Wayne Koestenbaum, USA
Nancy Kricorian, USA
Muriel Mirak-Weißbach, Germany/ USA
Fatma Müge Göcek, USA
Eileen Myles, USA
Judith Saryan, USA
Mayra Santos-Febres, USA/ Puerto Rico
Ronald Grigor Suny, USA
Anne Waldman, USA
Robert Wilson, USA/ France

Rosana Faría, Venezuela

Nam Le, Vietnam/ Australia

Tendai Huchu, Zimbabwe/ UK