Kathryn Cook (USA): Memory Denied, Turkey and the Armenian Genocide
Inge Morath Award Winner, 2008
In the early 1900s, as the Ottoman Empire was disintegrating, a fiercely nationalistic “Young Turks” movement took power. With the Empire’s fall, the multi-cultural attitude that had made it one of the world’s great cosmopolis became eclipsed by the fledgling government’s dream of a “pan-Turkic” country – a Turkish-speaking nation extending far beyond the Caspian Sea to the Siberian steppe. As with all ideologies, their taking hold and taking root means the termination of what doesn’t fit into the new identity.
On April 24, 1915 the Committee of Union and Progress issued a deportation order to have hundreds of Armenian intellectuals rounded up and removed. Once the order was complete, they were murdered. This act set in motion the extermination of Turkey’s Armenian population.
“Memory Denied: Turkey and the Armenian Genocide” is a journey through those massacres and deportations, the loss of cultural identity, and for those Armenians who still live in Turkey, their hardship and isolation. These images show a subtle picture, a narrative of glimpses that might exist only in the minds of those who remember, or who have heard the accounts firsthand. In short, it addresses how a premeditated act committed by “new Turks” on the “old Ottomans” has manifested itself in the country’s present. … read more