LOS ANGELES—The Promise Armenian Institute announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Armenian Film Foundation to collaborate on a range of projects that will support Armenian film and photography at the University of California, Los Angeles.
On November 18, the Promise Armenian Institute will host “Aftermath: the Armenian Earthquake of 1988,” the first online exhibit of the Armenian Image Archive, which will celebrate the work of Asadour Guzelian. Guzelian is a photographer based in the United Kingdom who went to Armenia shortly after the earthquake in 1988. This Zoom event will feature some of his photographs, which were featured in mainstream newspapers at the time.
The webinar, which is the inaugural event of this new collaboration, is co-sponsored by the UCLA Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History, the UCLA Library, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, and the Ararat-Eskijian Museum.
The Armenian Image Archive is the first of the new collaborations between PAI and AFF. This new archive has three goals — preservation, research and exhibition of Armenian photographers and photography related to Armenian subject-matter. The AIA will identify photography collections around the world, from the mid-19th century up to contemporary collections. It will provide both a repository and an ongoing platform for discourse and study about Armenian photographers.
The Armenian Film Foundation was founded by J. Michael Hagopian, Ph.D., who was instrumental, along with NAASR, in creating the first chair of Armenian Studies at UCLA. Hagopian was a lecturer at UCLA before becoming a documentary filmmaker. With his legacy in mind, the Armenian Film Foundation will support projects at UCLA that tie film and photography to a deeper understanding of Armenian history, culture, and the arts.
Joseph Malikian, Ph.D., an expert on early Armenian photography, is working closely with the Armenian Image Archive. Malikian is the author of “The Armenians in the Ottoman Empire: an Anthology and a Photo History,” and an upcoming publication, “The Krikorians on Jaffa Road.”
As part of the “Malikian Collection,” Malikian has gathered vintage images and the history of many Armenian photographic studios, dating from the 1860s, including Abdullah Freres, Sebah, Sebah & Joaillier, Tarkulyan (Atelier Phebus), Iranian, Gulmez Freres, Lekegian, Krikorian, Sarrafian, Alban, Van Leo, Armand, De Mirjian, Karsh and many others. His collection contains original images from the renowned Armenian photographic studios in Armenia, Tiflis, Baku, and other parts of what was once the Russian Empire.
“The Armenian Image Archive will also identify previously unknown collections from the Armenian Genocide period,” said Carla Garapedian, Ph.D., of the Armenian Film Foundation. “Over a hundred years have passed, but there are still photos that haven’t seen the light of day.”
“The UCLA Promise Armenian Institute is very much looking forward to this new partnership with the Armenian Film Foundation. The Armenian Image Archive, as well as all future projects, will enrich the scholarly inquiry of Armenian photography and film at UCLA and make accessible to the public and the academic community footage and collections tantamount to a national treasure,” said Professor Ann Karagozian, the inaugural director of the Promise Armenian Institute. “I also want to acknowledge the UCLA Library and the UCLA Film & Television Archive for their important future role in our AFF partnership. Both organizations are international leaders in preserving and providing access to cultural heritage, and their world-class expertise will amplify the Armenian Image Archive’s work advancing our shared goals.”
The “Aftermath: the Armenian Earthquake of 1988” webinar will take place on Thursday, November 18 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Individuals interested in participating may register online. To learn more about the Promise Armenian Institute, please visit the PAI website and to learn more about the Armenian Film Foundation, please visit their website.
Asadour Guzelian was born in the United Kingdom and founded what became the Guzelian agency in 1986, after cutting his teeth for eight years with Barry Wilkinson in Bradford. He has supplied news and feature photographs to Britain’s national newspapers. Exhibitions include one-man shows at the National Museum of Photography and the Cornerhouse, Manchester. He has twice won the prestigious Yorkshire TV Photographer of the Year. Guzelian was only three years into his career when he traveled to Armenia to cover the catastrophic earthquake in 1988.
Joseph Malikian, Ph.D., is the author of “The Armenians in the Ottoman Empire: An Anthology and a Photo History” and an expert on early Armenian photography. The Malikian Collection was developed in the context of the “Middle East and Armenian Photographic Project” which has been devoted to the study of the Armenian studios in the Ottoman and Russian Empires, the Middle East, Bulgaria and other countries in Europe. Throughout this period in history (1850s to 1960s), Armenian photographers dominated the industry in the cultural and commercial capitals of Europe and Asia. The primary objective of the Malikian Collection has been to identify and gather the history of these studios and to continue the collection of original images representing the work of these photographic establishments. The Armenian Image Archive will support Joseph Malikian’s seminal work.
Carla Garapedian, Ph.D., is a filmmaker and member of The Armenian Film Foundation, which has forged a new partnership with the Promise Armenian Institute – to support the study of Armenian film and filmmakers, as well as to create the Armenian Image Archive, a repository and platform for the study of Armenian photography – from early to contemporary photographers.