International Meeting of Young Genocide Scholars Held in Argentina

Conference participants

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina— An international meeting of young Armenian Genocide scholars took place on July 23 at the Luisa Hairabedian Foundation in Buenos Aires. Titled “From Silence and Spoliation to Legal, Cultural, and Historical Reparation,” the meeting was organized by the Latin American Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies, the academic division of the Hairabedian Foundation.

Researchers from different countries attended the event and presented their work. Scholar Ugur Umit Ungor (Ph.D., University of Amsterdam-Netherlands) presented his paper titled, “Confiscation and Colonization: The Young Turk Seizure of Armenian Property.” In this paper, based on official documents from Turkish archives, the author demonstrated the systematic expropriation of the Armenian population’s property and the transfer of those assets to the people of Turkey and the Turkish state, including large cotton plantations and the production of copper and silk.

Turkish Ph.D. researcher Alaettin Aleks Carikci from the Netherlands Leiden University literary studies department presented a lecture about “Denialism Versus Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in Modern Turkey.” As a cultural analyst specializing in memory and trauma studies, Carikci delineated the contemporary practices of the Turkish Republic to pave the way for collective amnesia related to Armenian Genocide. In his analysis, Carikci adopts an interdisciplinary way to portray the repercussions of collective forgetting and remembrance. Thus, he scrutinized a literary work to exemplify the mechanisms that question the dogmatic Turkish historiography about 1915

Anthonie Holslag (Ph.D., University of Amsterdam-Netherlands) spoke about the long-term consequences of the genocide in the Armenian Diaspora communities in London and the Netherlands and the application of anthropological research methods to interpret and study these consequences.

Alexis Papazian and María Florencia Di Matteo (Ph.D., FFyL-UBA/CONICET), representing the Latin American Center for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, presented their work “Forgetting as a Process of Memory: Silence Around Family of Armenian Descent,” an investigation into the “practice of forgetting” by a particular group of Armenian descendants who took refuge in Argentina and do not actively participate in traditional Armenian community organizations.

Finally, Jurist Sévane Garibian (Ph.D., Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense et Université de Genève, France-Switzerland) presented her academic investigations on the Truth Trial of the Armenian Genocide, recently resolved in Argentina, in her paper titled “The Right to Truth: Origin, Meaning and Interpretation.” She analyzed the “Hairabedian Case,” in which an Argentine court, for the first time in the world, ruled that the Turkish government committed genocide against the Armenian people between 1915 and 1923.

The audience was comprised of young people, university researchers, and representatives of government and Human Rights organizations. Among them was the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), Prof. Alex Hinton, who also participated actively in the discussion and the debate, and congratulated the organizers for the academic level and the seriousness of issues raised. Many other people congratulated the Foundation for the initiative, including Adriana Domínguez, a delegate of the National Institute against Discrimination. Also present at the event were community leaders and intellectuals of the Armenian communities of Uruguay, Patagonia, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Brazil, and Mexico.

The Luisa Hairabedian Foundation aims to promote the concrete and effective realization of human rights, specifically the prevention of genocide. To this end, it works to ensure the protection of the state in all matters relating to the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and truth-finding of serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. It does so particularly in the context of defending the right to life and dignity, and promoting new, just, and harmonious human relations. For more information, visit www.genocidios.org or www.clegdh.org.

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