Three Artists Exhibit in Netherlands, Germany

Two years ago, a group of six young Armenian artists came to Wiesbaden, Germany to exhibit their works at the Haus der Heimat.Now, two of the six have returned, this time with a new colleague, for a show in the Netherlands and a brief visit again to Wiesbaden. Read Further...

Vigil and Commemoration in Berlin

Protestors

by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
BERLIN, May 16, 2019 — A central feature of the events organized every year by the Armenian community on April 24 is the demand that Turkey acknowledge the genocide. The AGA, a Working Group for Recognition, held a vigil on April 27 in front of the Turkish Embassy in Berlin, precisely to raise this demand. Participants in the vigil held up a banner with the text, “Armenians, Aramaeans, Assyrians, Greeks Speak with One Voice against the Turkish Genocide.” On the following day, the FÖGG, a Society for the Promotion of an Ecumenical Monument for Genocide Victims in the Ottoman Empire, joined with the Armenian Church and Cultural Society held its commemoration at the site of the ecumenical alters of remembrance in the Berlin-Charlottenburg cemetery. Prof. Tessa Hofmann, sociologist and Armenian studies scholar, plays a leading role in both organizations.

At the chapel of the Evangelical Cemetery, Sona Eypper of the FÖGG leadership, welcomed participants, who received greetings from Armenian Ambassador Ashot Smbatyan. Archimandrite Yegishe Avetisyan spoke on “April 24th, 1915 and its Significance for Armenians Today,” in Armenian, with consecutive translation. Amil Gorgis reported on the completion of the ecumenical monuments. “Loss and Legacy” was the title of a series of readings from memoirs of survivors, delivered by Tessa Hofmann, Gohar Baghdasaryan and Anais Gövez.

Interspersed throughout the program were musical interludes by violinist Lilit Rostomyan, including Dele Yaman by Komitas. Following a moment of silent reflection, the participants walked in a procession to the ecumenical monuments and laid wreaths, after which Avetisyan offered prayers.

(For more on the FÖGG and AGA see https://mirrorspectator.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/March-3-2018-1.pdf, http://www.genozid-gedenkstaette.de/fogg-aktiv/index.php) and http://www.aga-online.org/aboutus/index.php?locale=de)

Old Yerevan and Young Voices Clash

It was a bitter cold evening in January 2019. The noise emanating from the construction site in the center of Yerevan during the day must have been deafening: heavy pounding of steam shovels against the ground, whirring of earth moving machinery, and workers’ voices seeking to make themselves heard above the fray. That evening, without forewarning, came the sound of something massive, crumbling, smashing down onto the earth, while brown-grey clouds of dust and dirt rose up from the ground, obfuscating the view. The wall had come down and by a stroke of fortune none of the people inside were hurt.Read Further...

Young Musicians Prepare for a Better Future

During a trip to Armenia in early April, my husband and I were able to witness this once again, as we visited four music schools that our small foundation has been associated with.
Gyumri, the cultural capital of Armenia and its second largest city, has more than one music school, and boasts a long tradition of musicians, composers and graphic artists. At the Octet School, destroyed in the 1988 earthquake and rebuilt in 2013 thanks to the efforts of Ian Gillan and his Deep Purple music ensemble, together with the Mardigian Foundation and the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), we met Manya Hovhannisian, the new director, who told us there are 224 students receiving instruction there this year. In fact, they were in the last stages of preparation for a concert of instrumental and vocal music.Read Further...

Armenian-German Relations Move Forward: Mirzoyan in Berlin

BERLIN, MARCH 28, 2019 — Following Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s recent state visit to Germany, the process of intensifying contacts between Yerevan and Berlin continues apace. On the invitation of German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the President of the Armenian Parliament Ararat Mirzoyan began a five-day visit to Germany on March 17. In the capital he was received by the President of the Bundestag (Parliament) Wolfgang Schäuble, and was scheduled to meet with parliamentarians, including Petra Pau, Bundestag Vice-President, and Johannes Kars, head of the German-South Caucasus Friendship Group.Read Further...

Scholars in Venice Conduct a Journey through Armenian Art

Venice has a long history of relations with Armenia, which most people associate with the Mekhitarist monastery on the island of San Lazzaro, with its imposing church and magnificent library. But Venice also hosts an important center of Armenian studies, at the Ca’ Foscari university, which has a Chair for Medieval Art History and for Armenian Language and Literature. On February 21-22, the university, in collaboration with the Center for Studies and Documentation of Armenian Art and the Association Internationales des Études Arméniennes, hosted an international conference on “Armenian Art: Critical History and New Perspectives.”
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Symposium: Life After Babylon

People of Jewish or Armenian heritage know that they share a painful history, one that deprived them of statehood and forced them into life in the diaspora over centuries.
In view of this shared, but differentiated experience, the European Center for Jewish Music (EZJM) and the German-Armenian Society (DAG) joined to organized a symposium at the Cultural Center in Hannover, from February 24-27.Read Further...

Memoirs of an Armenian in Germany

Lisa Berkian-Abrahamian has always lived with books; she has worked as a librarian, a newspaper editor, translator and author. Born in Armenia, she came to Germany in 1992 to live with her husband, Ara J. Berkian, and after his untimely death in 1994, remained here, carrying on his work and her own. In September 2014 she published a book in Armenian on her husband, which is not only a complete appreciation of Berkian as doctor, engineer, architect and writer, but also contains important material and letters from his archives, pertaining to German-Armenian relations.Read Further...

Pashinyan Visits Germany

When Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his wife Annas Hakobyan paid an official visit to Germany last week, their first stop was not the capital city but Cologne. This may have come as a surprise to some, but there were good reasons for it. As Pashinyan explained to a gathering of members of the Armenian community on January 31, “Cologne is the capital of the Armenians of Germany, and it was not accidental that we started the official visit here.” The meeting took place at the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is the seat of the church in Germany. Read Further...

Rediscovering Armenian Heritage in Turkey after Hrant Dink

“The question of whether after such a complete elimination, after the almost total expulsion and forced expatriation of survivors in the successor state, the Republic of Turkey, an existence as an Armenian, subjectively and objectively, is at all possible, has been my concern as a human rights activist for decades.” This is how Tessa Hofmann, genocide researcher and chairwoman of the Arbeitsgruppe Anerkennung e.V (AGA: Working Group for Recognition; Against Genocide, for Understanding among Peoples), opened a commemorative event in Berlin on January 19, the 12th anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink.Read Further...

Justice for 1.5 Million plus 1

On January 19, Germans, Turks, Armenians, Kurds, Greeks and others gathered in several German cities to render homage to the memory of Hrant Dink, on the 12th anniversary of his death. In Frankfurt, a demonstration took place at a central location near the historic St. Catherine’s Church. Members of the Soykırım Karsıtları Dernegi (SKD), the Society against Genocide, organized the vigil which gathered a hundred people. Under the slogan, “Justice for 1.5 million victims of genocide, justice for Hrant Dink,“ the demonstrators carried photos of the murdered AGOS journalist as well as other activists currently jailed in Turkey. Candles and flowers lay on the ground among the photos and texts.Read Further...

A Happy Musical New Year for Dilijan Students

Students at the State Art College of Dilijan are ringing in the New Year with music, and with brand new instruments, thanks to the initiative of the Foundation for Armenian Relief (FAR). FAR, established in 1988 as a relief effort after the earthquake, has continued to raise funds for economic, social and educational programs in Armenia and cooperates with other foundations on specific projects. One of them focuses on music education.
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