AYF to host Western Armenia Film Screening and Discussion
GLENDALE—On Sunday, February 1, the United Human Rights Council of the Armenian Youth Federation – Western United States will host a screening of “Vanishing Traces of Historic Armenia,” Ani Hovannisian-Kevorkian’s documentary about Western Armenia and a panel discussion. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Occidental College Choi Auditorium, located in Eagle Rock, California.
“I want everyone, especially youth and students of all ages still expanding their mind and spirit, to take that journey deep into our homeland, discovering the unforgettable and telling stories of the land and people who remain,” explained filmmaker Ani Hovannisian-Kevorkian.
This is a special advance pre-screening cosponsored by the All-ASA: All-Armenian Student Association, ARF Shant Student Association, and Alpha Gamma Alpha, meant to engage youth and students with the history and current status of Armenian cultural heritage in Western Armenia (present-day eastern Turkey), as well as current events unfolding in Turkey at large.
“This film brings us face to face with our past…and present…and makes them tangible, keeps them alive. Maybe this film will motivate someone to make the trek him/herself, not to get lost in the past, but to learn, strengthen the continuum we belong to, and move forward,” she added.
Following the film screening will be a discussion and Q&A with the filmmaker, as well as Edvin Minassian, Chairman of the Organization of Istanbul Armenians and Board Member of the Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights, to discuss the geopolitical climate and realities of current-day Turkey.
“Western Armenia and the Armenians of Turkey must capture the imagination of the current generation of our youth. The political must become personal. It’s imperative we interact with the people and the land, and become more familiar with the culture, the current events, and the current realities that continue to wreak havoc in the homeland,” says Elia Bilemjian, an organizer of the event and co-chair of the AYF UHRC.
The event is free and open to the public. It will begin at 6:00 PM with a social hour including refreshments, followed by the screening of the film at 7:00 PM and the panel discussion at 8:00PM. Information on parking and other details can be found on Facebook, at www.tinyurl.com/VanishingTraces.
The film depicts the story of a Scottish architecture student exploring eastern Turkey, who stumbles upon magnificent relics standing alone and in ruin. Mesmerized by their mystery and beauty, and defiant of warnings to stay away, this lone explorer has returned to the lands of historic Armenia every year, quietly uncovering and documenting the vanishing traces of this lost world. Along the way, an unexpected meeting with an Armenian documentarian leads to a rare journey. Together, the Scot and Armenian dig beneath the surface of Turkey’s modern map and soil, encountering forbidden stories and ruins, and reveal the hidden map.
The United Human Rights Council (UHRC) is a committee of the Armenian Youth Federation. By means of action on a grassroots level, the UHRC works towards exposing and correcting human rights violations of governments worldwide, and aims to foster dialogue and collaboration between peoples who share this common vision.
The All-Armenian Student Association (All-ASA) works to unite various Armenian-American college student organizations and serve the greater Armenian-American community through cultural, social, educational, and activist programming. As the largest confederation of ASAs in the nation, All-ASA is dedicated to collaboration among its constituent organizations, leadership development of its members, and community service.
The purpose of Alpha Gamma Alpha (AGA) is to unify students to work towards the advancement of Armenian causes, our college communities, and the greater community. The AGA aims to spread and further the Armenian culture and aid in Armenian causes, participate and aid the local and greater communities through philanthropic work, and make life-long ties with their sisters.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Shant Student Association has worked across college and university campuses as well as young Armenian professionals to bring a higher level of political and cultural awareness. ARF Shant strives to mobilize the community at large in furthering the Armenian Cause through political, academic and intellectual means.
Founded in 1933 with organizational structures in over 17 regions around the world and a legacy of over eighty years of community involvement, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian-American youth organization in the world, working to advance the social, political, educational, and cultural awareness of Armenian youth.