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Kathryn Cook May 2, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
Tags: ,

Memory Denied: Turkey and the Armenian Genocide

Kathryn Cook (b 1979) is an American photographer based in Istanbul who is represented by Agence Vu and Prospekt fotografi. Her project on Turkey examines the impact of the Armenian massacres of the early 20th century and the scars it left on the country’s national identity. Turkey still refuses to officially label it “genocide,” a word Cook uses in the title of the project. Cook has worked as an Associated Press photographer in Panama, freelanced for a variety of publications including Time and The New York Times, Stern, Newsweek and was featured in PDN’s 30 emerging photographers. Her project Memory Denied was the recipient of aftermath Project award the in 2008.

About the Photograph:

“An Armenian man from Aleppo holds the photo of his mother, who survived the journey through SE Turkey to Aleppo, Syria. His memory is of course created out of her memory, as she passed down what she saw to him. Another reason the photo isn’t in focus in this picture. This passing down of memory is also an interesting aspect to this project, as it happened so long ago that children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have a different collective memory. The diaspora and politics have also influenced it. In Turkey this is especially interesting because of the political situation with not recognizing or discussing the past. What does a memory/collective memory “denied” feel like? And for me, what does it feel like visually? That is one of the main themes I am trying to explore… among others.”


1. Aram Chorebanian - May 2, 2008

An open sore that cannot heal.
My 10 year old mother, Zevart Chorebanian, was forced to watch her 17 year old pregnant cousin as a Turkish soldier sliced open her abdomen, pulled out the fetus, chopped off its head, and then decapitated the mother.
She witnessed similar barbaric scenes, often perpetrated by fellow Turkish neighbors on her Armenian friends.
This “open season” on Armenians was directed from the ruling Ottoman Turkish triumvirate/pashas.
There can be no “closure” until Turkey acknowledges that the extermination of an estimated 65% of Turkish Armenians from 1915-1923 constitutes Genocide.

2. Arpine Konyalian Grenier - May 3, 2008

With due respect & shared empathy for the horrific.. onward & upward we must.. a non Armenian friend spoke to me of the 93rd April 24 Commemoration in her Los Feliz Neighborhood of Los Angeles impressed by the connectedness energy and enthusiasm of “these Armenians who have lost so much and yet walk and look like they have so much”.. once i heard the African American actor Jamie Fox say ” i owe everything to my grandmother.. she insisted on the piano lessons etc etc.. she said to me: walk and talk like you come from somewhere”.. We come from somewhere.. axons have the capacity to regenerate and redo over time the neural map-work even under the horrific hugeness of what happened.. i am counting on that.. Arpine Konyalian Grenier

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