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The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

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  • The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

    This year in Turkey a few Turks were asking me about 2015, if big things were being planned for the 100th anniversary of the genocide. Some had trepidation about it, others were looking forward to what they hoped would be a large increase in Armenian visitor numbers. I told them that I think very little that is new, and almost nothing that is substantial or important, will be happening.
    Last edited by bell-the-cat; 08-19-2014, 04:31 AM.
    Plenipotentiary meow!

  • #2
    Re: The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

    California Courier Online, August 14, 2014

    And, Now, For the Centenary Something...Well...Ah.
    By Avedis Kevorkian

    According to the news report in this publication (July 31) the Armenian mountain has labored and produced a mouse. An Armenian mouse, to be sure, but a mouse nonetheless.

    I refer to the report headed, `Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Planned in the Nation's Capital,' which indicated that the monumental memorial to honor the souls of the 1.5-million dead of the Armenian Genocide will be . . .wait for it! . . .a church service in Washington. Golly gee willikers, what a novelty! And, naturally, the service will be conducted by the Bobbsey Twin heads of the diprosopus tetrotus Armenian church--Karekin II and Aram I. And, will it be on April 24? Do pigs fly? That would make too much sense.

    The report indicates that there also will be "a memorial concert, public exhibitions" as well as the "Pontifical Divine Liturgy", and all this will take place from May 7 to 10.
    The planning for this monumental occasion to mark the 1915 Centenary must have taken the Committee as long as, perhaps, 30 minutes, including time for serving coffee and donuts.
    Of course, the story suggests that the Centennial Committee (composed of the usual suspects) will continue to meet and will come up with other ideas. Considering that April 24, 2015, is less than nine months away, one wonders how often the Committee will meet and how many similarly brilliant ideas it will agree upon, and how it will disseminate those new similarly brilliant decisions around the country. Assuming, that is, that the Committee thinks it worthwhile to include the rest of the country in its plans.

    As I have written often, what the Centenary required was a special ad hoc committee of creative people - not our self-appointed "leaders" -and should have been formed five years ago and it should not have concerned itself with any of the April 24 observances anywhere and in the intervening years.

    And, its first meeting it should have had as its sole agenda a tabula rasa. Then it would be able to think creatively and the juices would flow and would have produced somethings really noteworthy. With five years of ideas and planning, it should have produced a Centenary worthy enough to be called a fitting observance.
    It could have (in no particular order of importance):
    --commissioned films
    --commissioned plays
    --commissioned a television documentary
    --scheduled a series of concerts and recitals around the country
    --organized a poster contest in the country's schools - judged by a committee of non-Armenian artists - which would have resulted in a touring schedule to show off the winners
    --printed a souvenir memorial calendar of the 13 `winning' posters - a cover and 12 monthly illustrations
    --booked 1.5-million billboards around the country for the month of April 2015 on which the `winning' posters would be depicted
    --lined up key historians and agreed with them where they would be speaking
    --prepared massive 'press kits' for the media
    --prepared 'op-eds' to be submitted by professors, politicians, other notables
    --produced 'sample' editorials for the small weeklies, fortnightlies, monthlies around the country
    --presented a significant (a large cash sum and a gold medal, at least) Award to the Non-Armenian who has done most for the Armenians. (My original thought was for it to be named The Lord Bryce Award, but with the recent death of Benjamin Whitaker, his name would be ideal) and it would be presented on April 24, 2015 (and each year thereafter).
    --arranged for the churches in each community to ring their bells for three minutes at Noon on April 24, 2015
    --set up mini-Genocide exhibitions in local libraries or top community centers.
    --intervened in the immoral Genocide Museum dispute and knocked some heads together that would have ensured the opening of the Museum on April 24, 2015.

    And it would have launched the Centenary campaign in Washington at a major Press Conference on Vartanantz (with an explanation of why Vartanantz) after which the above `could have's would have rolled out on a steady basis until the weekend of April 24, 2015, which would have begun with services in Armenian Churches around the country on Friday and would have ended on Sunday, April 26, in one of the largest--if not the largest--non-Armenian church in each community so that the non-Armenians would get an idea of who we are and how long we have been here.

    This ad hoc committee would have approached the Centenary plans as being directed at the non-Armenian, and if NO Armenians attended or otherwise participated in any event, so what? (What do you want to bet that the National Cathedral will be full of Armenians who want to see and be seen?) We know what happened in 1915. We must impress 1915 on everyone else. The Centenary should not be another event where the Armenians gather to tell the Armenians what happened to the Armenians.
    So, instead, it would appear that the Centennial Committee still expects the lip-service politicians in Washington to truly give a damn about the Armenians and their Genocide.
    The above - and more - could have been planned had the Armenians started five years ago, as I tried to do but could not enlist any Armenian support. Some of the above ideas came from the now-disbanded committee that I did form, which consisted of a Catholic, two xxxs, and a Protestant - all former journalists and former PR-types. I have told them to forget about the Centenary and to sit it out, as I plan to do.

    As a PR-man, I saw this once-in-a-lifetime (at least once in my lifetime) event as offering the opportunity for a truly magnificent, memorable, monumental tribute to the martyred 1.5-million Armenians. Instead.
    Plenipotentiary meow!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

      On the 100th Anniversary Armenians should pull the Genocide bill out of congress.....and spit on their claims of humanity leader of the world.
      B0zkurt Hunter

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

        Originally posted by Eddo211 View Post
        On the 100th Anniversary Armenians should pull the Genocide bill out of congress.....and spit on their claims of humanity leader of the world.
        Really? Do they actually think they are an advocate for human rights? Does Congress not know about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths orchestrated by the US?
        Armenian colony of Glendale will conquer all of California!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

          Originally posted by bell-the-cat View Post
          This year in Turkey a few Turks were asking me about 2015, if big things were being planned for the 100th anniversary of the genocide. Some had trepidation about it, others were looking forward to what they hoped would be a large increase in Armenian visitor numbers. I told them that I think very little that is new, and almost nothing that is substantial or important, will be happening.
          Except for German-Turkish film director Fatih Akin's film The Cut, which will have its premiere in a couple of days at the Venice Film Festival.

          It's a very unusual film for him as most of his filmography deals with Turkish immigrants in Germany. He said some of the Cannes festival programmers had "reservations" about this film because it's a historical drama and in English so he withdrew it and opted for Venice. I hope the programmers' hesitance wasn't because of the quality; I think that was the reason for Ararat's rejection, which, admittedly, wasn't very good (although I liked the Arshile Gorky scenes -- perhaps it should have been a biopic?). I know that film had its defenders and proponents on here and within the Armenian community. To that I say (borrowing a delicious line from Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie): "For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

            I read a while back that Fatih didnot end up making the film because he could not get turkish actors ton play the roles. Did he find the actors he was looking for?

            Originally posted by TomServo View Post
            Except for German-Turkish film director Fatih Akin's film The Cut, which will have its premiere in a couple of days at the Venice Film Festival.

            It's a very unusual film for him as most of his filmography deals with Turkish immigrants in Germany. He said some of the Cannes festival programmers had "reservations" about this film because it's a historical drama and in English so he withdrew it and opted for Venice. I hope the programmers' hesitance wasn't because of the quality; I think that was the reason for Ararat's rejection, which, admittedly, wasn't very good (although I liked the Arshile Gorky scenes -- perhaps it should have been a biopic?). I know that film had its defenders and proponents on here and within the Armenian community. To that I say (borrowing a delicious line from Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie): "For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like."
            Hayastan or Bust.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

              Originally posted by TomServo View Post
              I think that was the reason for Ararat's rejection, which, admittedly, wasn't very good (although I liked the Arshile Gorky scenes -- perhaps it should have been a biopic?). I know that film had its defenders and proponents on here and within the Armenian community. To that I say (borrowing a delicious line from Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie): "For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like."
              I remember being amused by Egoyan's belated response to critics of the film's failings: that all of the failings were deliberate, that there were conscious scripting and editing decisions to make parts of the film fail in order to reveal the impossibility of attaining a completely accurate account of the genocide.

              If only that sort of excuse could be used everywhere: hey, this is not a ghastly amateurish painting I've just done - I'm a great artist who is showing their depth and creativity by pretending to paint in the manner of a bad artist with no talent whatsoever in order to make a statement on the impossibility of ever attaining perfection in painting.
              Plenipotentiary meow!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

                Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                I read a while back that Fatih didnot end up making the film because he could not get turkish actors ton play the roles. Did he find the actors he was looking for?
                That was a different film, one about Hrant Dink, which ended up not being made because he could not find any Turkish actors of the right age willing to play Dink.
                Plenipotentiary meow!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

                  Q&A: Fatih Akin Discusses His New Film ‘The Cut’

                  The director Fatih Akin, 41, born in Germany to Turkish parents, has mined his mixed heritage to make two complex, critically acclaimed films —“Head-On” (2004) and “The Edge of Heaven” (2007) — which comprise the first parts of what he calls his “Love, Death and the Devil” trilogy. The final installment, “The Cut,” which is set to open at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday, goes back in time to 1915 to replay scenes from one of the most painful and contentious chapters in Turkish history: the Armenian genocide.

                  The film stars the French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim (“A Prophet”) as an Armenian blacksmith who travels around the world — from Aleppo to Havana to North Dakota — in search of his two daughters, with whom he lost touch after the outbreak of systematic violence that would eventually claim the lives of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.

                  “The Cut” — shot on 35-millimeter film with Cinemascope lenses, with locations in five countries and a budget of 15 million euros, or about $20 million — is by far the most ambitious film Mr. Akin has ever attempted, and he admits to being a bit jittery about its reception. The film was previously expected to debut at the Cannes Film Festival, but Mr. Akin pulled it from consideration for “personal reasons.” In the following edited interview, he discusses why he brought “The Cut” to Venice, how he thinks the film will be received in Turkey, and the wide range of directors who influenced it, including Elia Kazan and Terrence Malick.

                  Q. You recently told a newspaper in Turkey that the country was ripe for a major film that dealt with the Armenian genocide. The paper has since received death threats. Have you changed your mind?

                  A. No, I still believe Turkey is ready. Two friends of mine, both producers, read the script. One of them said they will throw stones, the other said they will throw flowers. That’s what it is — guns and roses. But I’ve shown the film to people who deny the fact that 1915 was a genocide and to people who accept it and both groups had the same emotional impact. I hope the film could be seen as a bridge. For sure there are radical groups, fascist groups, who fear any kind of reconciliation. And the smaller they are, the louder they bark. The newspaper that I gave the interview to, Agos, is actually an Armenian-Turkish weekly newspaper where the journalist Hrant Dink worked.

                  Q. He was Armenian and was murdered in 2007 by a teenage Turkish nationalist. In 2010, you attempted to make a film about Dink’s life, but couldn’t find an actor in Turkey to play the part.

                  A. I wrote down five names of Turkish actors I thought could play him. And all of them were nervous about the script. I don’t want to hurt anybody, I don’t live in Turkey, in a way I am safe, protected. But these actors, maybe they’d have some problems. No film is worth that.

                  Q. The scenes from “The Cut” that are set in Turkey were actually filmed in Jordan. Why?

                  A. Mostly because of logistical reasons. The film takes place in 1915, in southeastern Turkey, very close to today’s Syria, actually. And I needed a lot of old trains, historical trains, like the ones from the Baghdad Railway that Germans were building through the Turkish Empire in those days. You find those trains and those landscapes in Jordan.

                  Q. But you also filmed parts of “The Cut” in Germany, Cuba, Canada, Malta.

                  A. It’s a road movie. The plot is about a father looking for his lost children. The Armenian genocide wasn’t only about violence, it was also about forced migration, the spreading around the world of these people, from Anatolia to Port Said, Egypt; to Havana; to Canada; to California; to Hong Kong.

                  Q. To what extent was this story based on the life of a real person?

                  A. I did a lot of research while I was writing this and I discovered diaries of Armenians who went to Havana in their early 20s. Oral histories and literature about the death camps and the death marches. I collected a lot of very rich portraits of witnesses and tried to sew them together.

                  Q. You’ve described the film as a kind of western.

                  A. Yes. “The Cut” is not just a film about the material, it’s about my personal journey through cinema, and the directors who I admire and who influence my work. Elia Kazan’s “America America” is a very important influence. So is the work of Sergio Leone, how he used framing. It’s also an homage somehow to Scorsese. I wrote this film with Mardik Martin, Martin Scorsese’s very early scriptwriter who wrote “Mean Streets” and the first draft of “Raging Bull.” Because he was Armenian, I discovered him on this project, and he helped me write it. And we spoke a lot about obsessional characters in Scorsese films.

                  The film deals also a lot with my admiration for Bertolucci, and Italian westerns and how Eastwood adapted Italian westerns. And the way we try to catch the light, always having it behind us, is very inspired by the work of Terrence Malick. So this film is very much in the Atlantic ocean, somewhere near the Azores — for a European film it’s too American, for an American film it’s too European.

                  Q. Why do the Turkish characters in your film speak Turkish while the Armenians speak English?

                  A. The main reason is that if I wanted to control the film, I had to control the dialogue. And I don’t speak Armenian at all. There are a lot of examples in the history of cinema. Bertolucci shot “The Last Emperor” with the Chinese speaking English. I used the concept that Polanski used in “The Pianist,” where he made all the Polish characters speak English and the Germans speak German, making English a language of identification. It’s a clear concept, but it’s surprising for some people because they’re used to my films in German and Turkish. But this film is more about the whole world. It’s not set in a minimalistic frame.

                  Q. How was working with Tahar Rahim?

                  A. “A Prophet” made a huge impact on me, it was great film — a masterpiece. And 90 percent of the quality of the film came from Tahar Rahim. When we met, there were a lot of things that we shared. We had relevant backgrounds — he had grown up in France with an Arab background, and I had grown up in Germany with a Turkish background.

                  Q. Are you excited or nervous about the debut of your film at Venice?

                  A. I’m nervous and excited. I spent too much time on it — usually you spend two years with a film, but on this film I spent seven years, the last four years I was working every day. Yes, I’m nervous.

                  Q. “The Cut” was initially headed to the Cannes Film Festival but you pulled the movie at the last minute, citing “personal reasons.” What happened?

                  A. We showed the film to Cannes and Venice at the same time. The reaction of Venice was very enthusiastic and Cannes was a bit much more careful, like they always are. So I was nervous, and I followed my instincts. But I couldn’t talk about my decision in the press because Venice asked me to wait until they made their own announcement. The people in Cannes never rejected the film but I had the feeling that it wasn’t what they expected from me. Because it’s historical, because it’s in English, it’s not minimalistic, I’m not sure. But I cannot fulfill other people’s expectations. I have to fulfill my own.

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/ar...-cut.html?_r=1
                  Hayastan or Bust.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The 100th Anniversary - and Events to Mark it

                    Petition urges Google to set Armenian Genocide doodle on April 24

                    16:11, 07 Dec 2014

                    Petition launched on Change.org urges Google to set an Armenian
                    Genocide doodle on April 24. A Google Doodle is a special, temporary
                    alteration of the logo on Google's homepage. The text of the petition
                    reads:

                    "The Armenian Genocide was the Ottoman government's systematic
                    extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic
                    homeland within the territory constituting the present-day Republic of
                    Turkey.

                    The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day
                    Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested some 250 Armenian
                    intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. The total
                    number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1
                    and 1.5 million.

                    This is why we have the responsibility of spreading awareness about
                    the genocide, and why Google should get involved for all humanity."


                    http://www.armradio.am/en/2014/12/07...e-on-april-24/
                    Hayastan or Bust.

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