DOWNEY–The Downey Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of `Witness,’ an exhibition of photographs by Ara Oshagan and Levon Parian of the Genocide Project. Featuring black and white portraits of Armenian Genocide survivors–their oral histories and other historical material–the exhibit is a visual telling of the events of the Genocide through the eyes and words of those who witnessed it first hand. The exhibit will run from June 25 to August 26 and the opening reception is slated for Sunday June 25 from 4-7 p.m.
Oshagan–Parian and members of the Genocide Project have been photographing and interviewing Armenian Genocide survivors in the Los Angeles area since 1996. Salpie Ajemian and Maral Nashalian are the current interview organizers for the Project. The Project’s goal is publish a book and organize exhibitions of survivor photos and oral histories that reflect upon the events of the Genocide. In May of 1999–their portraits were published in the L. A. Times Sunday Magazine. Previously–the Project has held exhibits in the rotunda of the California Capitol Building in Sacramento–Los Angeles City Hall among other places.
In conjunction with the exhibit–four `Evening Events’ are planned–exploring the artistic as well as historical context of the Genocide and the nature of such catastrophic events. The purpose of these Evening Events is to broaden the context of the Armenian Genocide and to encourage discussion and reflection upon this and other extreme failures of humanity.
1. Thursday–June 29–2000
Denial: an open panel discussion on the adverse effects of denial in history
Vicken Papazian – Moderator
Levon Marashlian – Armenian Genocide
Dan Alba – Facing History and the Jewish Holocaust
Helen Ziler – Multicultural Advocacy
2. Thursday–July 6–2000
Voices of the Past and Present: an evening of poetry and song
Lory Bedikian – moderator
Ara Babaian – poet
Tina Demirdjian – poet
Aram Kouyoumdjian – performance artist
Manik Manoukian – dramatic soprano
3. Thursday–July 13–2000
The Creative Mind: innovative approaches to telling the story. A special audio/visual presentation by Dr. Levon Marashlian–historian and professor at Glendale College – about forging new and creative methods of teaching history and the Armenian Genocide.
4. Tuesday–July 18–2000
Witness: face to face with survival. An evening with Dr. Donald Miller – an authority on Genocide oral history–professor of Religion at USC and author of Survivors. Recollections of two Genocide survivors–Sam Kadorian and Haig Baronian–will also be presented.
All events are free and begin at 7 p.m. Seating is limited. Please call the museum to make reservations. Downey Museum of Art is located at 10419 Rives Ave in Furman Park in the city of Downey. From the 5 South–exit Paramount–turn right; at Florence turn right; at Rives turn left. The Museum is open Wednesday to Saturday noon-5 p.m. Call 562/861-0419 for further information. This exhibit and evening events are made possible in part by gran’s from the California Council for the Humanities–the Armenian National Committee Western Region and the estate of Nishan and Satenig DerKaloustian.