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Genocide Talk in Boston

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  • Genocide Talk in Boston

    A Lecture by
    October 26, 2006

    8:00 p.m.

    NAASR Center
    395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA

    Zeynep Turan
    Doctoral Candidate in Environmental Psychology, City University of New York

    The experience of forced migration suggests a kind of movement in which points of arrival and departure are neither immutable nor certain. Having been displaced from one’s homeland, one might make one’s new dwelling in language, in stories, or in personal objects. An identity based on being from “there” but living “here” encourages a sense of place maintained as much by stories and memories as by the topography of one’s homeland.

    Since the experience of forced migration destabilizes a person’s relationship to the environment, a collection of personal objects may allow one to form a safe area from which one can reclaim (or disclaim) personal and cultural identity. For Armenians originally from Asia Minor, as well as Greeks and displaced Palestinians, the personal objects brought from their homeland provided a sense of cultural identity and security that was taken for granted in their homelands. These objects took on the roles that family, friends, and a familiar ancestral environment would have played had the 1915 genocide, the population exchange, and the displacements never happened. These material objects enable their owners – the displaced persons and their descendants – at least to imagine a security that has been lost.

    Zeynep Turan is completing a doctorate at the City University of New York in Environmental Psychology. A native of Izmir, Turkey, she is focusing her research on the effects of displacement on Armenians, Greeks, and Palestinians, as well as others forced to flee their homelands, and their descendants. She holds Masters degrees in Psychology and Architectural History and Theory.
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”