Steven Sim and Ani Hovannisian to Speak on “The Hidden Map of Historic Armenia”

Sim-Hovannisian copy
Steven Sim and Ani Hovannisian

Steven Sim and Ani Hovannisian

The duo will make presentations on Nov. 10 at Ararat-Eskijian Museum and Nov. 13 at Fresno State 

FRESNO—Scottish explorer Steven Sim and producer Ani Hovannisian will make presentations on “The Hidden Map of Historic Armenia.”

The first will take place on Saturday,, November 10 at 5 p.m. at Ararat-Eskijian Museum and the second at Fresno State at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13 in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191. The documentary film The Hidden Map will be previewed during the presentation.

Scotland-native Steven Sim may be the most-traveled modern explorer of the historical Armenian lands in present-day eastern Turkey. As an architecture student in Glasgow in the early 1980’s, Steve decided to spend a summer among the little-known medieval Armenian monuments of eastern Turkey rather than the oft-studied landmarks of Europe. During that first trip, Steve came across a landscape of abandoned architectural masterpieces. What began as a student project turned into a life obsession and mission: “It was a land empty of anybody having interest in it, and I just happened to stumble upon this empty land, and decided to make it my own.” Sim has spent nearly 35 years documenting the remaining sites and relics of ‘Turkish Armenia,’ traveling alone every year from Scotland to uncover, experience, and commit to memory the vanishing traces of the Armenian past. He has, to date, taken more than 100,000 photographs.

Five years ago, Armenian-American producer and documentarian Ani Hovannisian met Sim as she was traveling through Turkey to discover the ancestral homeland she had heard about all her life from her genocide-survivor grandparents and historian father Dr. Richard Hovannisian, among others. Trekking through cities, towns, and villages across the country, including her grandparents’ hometowns, Ani, by chance, ran into Steve in an old Armenian house in Kayseri.

The unexpected intersection of the Scotsman’s and Armenian’s journeys merged into a friendship, and ultimately into a joint return expedition and answer to the call of the land, with Sim continuing to uncover what lies beneath the modern map of Turkey, and Hovannisian documenting his story and that of the people who live there now. As the testimony of the structures and the people emerge, so does evidence revealing the hidden map of Historic Armenia… and now, the documentary, The Hidden Map.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Fresno State Lots P6 and P5, near the University Business Center, Fresno State. A free parking code can be obtained by contacting the Armenian Studies Program.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, visit the school’s website at or visit our Facebook page at


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  1. Peter M. said:

    I have seen different versions of this documentary. It is excellent. I know there’s a lot of stuff out there. Good docs. Average docs. Be warned…You will do yourself a great disservice if you miss this. Don’t wait for another opportunity. Clear your calendar now. A huge bonus is having Steve Sim there. You never know when you’ll have a chance to ever see or hear from him (in person) ever again. And, what of the filmmaker? A smart cookie.

    • yvonne minassian said:

      Does anyone know if he has a tour scheduled or how I can contact him? Wondering if he’ll make an appearance in SF Bay area. thanks all

      • Peter M. said:

        Yvonne…….My guess is there is no “extensive” tour planned. I could be wrong though…so you might want to check with Ani [through the Ararat-Eskijian Museum]. I suggest you make plans to be in L.A. on November 10 or, a little closer to you (Fresno) on November 13. Good luck. You do not want to miss this rare opportunity.

      • Ani said:

        Hi Yvonne,
        Steve will be in Los Angeles and Fresno during this (first-ever) visit. If you happen to be nearby, welcome…

  2. Krikor said:

    Is the ‘The Hidden Map of Historic Armenia’, for sale?
    No chance of seeing ‘it’ or them in El Paso at any time.

    • Ani said:

      Hi Krikor,
      Nothing is planned in El Paso, refreshing as it sounds. The film is not for sale, but when it’s complete and ready for broadcast, you’ll hear. Thank you, and stay tuned.

  3. herach said:

    I am too far away (Italy) to see the documentary . Suggest to sell online (Amazon?) CD so others like me could by and enjoy to see

  4. Ani said:

    Greetings Herach,
    Thank you for your interest and suggestion… When it is ready, I’ll make sure that you and others around the world will be able to watch it. Hachoghoutiun.