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2015 ARS Youth Connect Program a Success

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Old 28 Mar 15, 16:11   #1 (permalink)
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Post 2015 ARS Youth Connect Program a Success

The 2015 Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Youth Connect program took place on Feb. 28-March 1, at New York University. Program Director Khatchig Mouradian, the coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University, ranthe programfor the second year in a row. The theme of this years program was Beyond the Centennial. The speakers were engaging, and encouraged the participating students and young professionals to find novel and creative ways to contribute to their local Armenian communities, and the Armenian culture in general, on the eve of the centennial. There were four speakers in the program: film director Eric Nazarian, photojournalist Scout Tufankjian, writer Matthew Karanian, and Mouradian, adjunct professor of history and sociology at Rutgers University.

A scene from the event

Nazarian began his talk with an anecdote. In his time in New York, he asked strangers a simple question: What is one story that you think would make for an excellent film? A recurring theme in the answers was tragedy and loss. Tragedy has a powerful influence on us and moves us to tell a story that can really connect with an audience, said Nazarian.Tragedy brings people together far more than comedy, for instance. Nazarian lamented about the relative obscurity artists like Sergei Parajanov faced during their lifetime. It was only when titans of the big screen such as Federico Fellini and Martin Scorsese studied Parajanovs work that his genius was finally recognized. He argued that the artists among us that try to tell stories deserve our support because it is important to tell stories about our past, to engage in our future, and to cultivate the next Aram Khatchadourians and Gomidas.

Tufankjian spoke about her experiences as a photojournalist traveling to 22 countries to document the various Armenian communities for her Armenian Diaspora project. While each community was unique in its own way, the similarities outnumbered the differences, she said. Sitting at the Armenian dinner tables in the different communities invoked the same familiar feeling for Tufankjian. Going into her project with no expectations, Tufankjian went from the Aghpalian agoump in Beirut, to a wedding in Ethiopia, to a church in India, to the genocide commemoration in California.

(L-R) Scout Tufankjian, Matthew Karanian, Eric Nazarian, and Khatchig Mouradian

Karanian spoke about his experiences traveling to Western Armenia and the importance of engaging with the historic Armenian homeland. For a long time, he had refused to go to Western Armenia where his ancestors were from, said Karanian. He finally visited Western Armenia in order to attend a friends wedding. That generated the spark that caused him to return many times to document various historic sites, which became the subject of his book, Historic Armenia After 100 Years: Ani, Kars, and the Six Provinces of Western Armenia. The question he posed was: Were we wrong for not returning to this part of our homeland? Karanian gave participants a glimpse into this part of Armenian history, raising awareness of the state Armenian cultural sites were in, and the urgency with which they needed to be preserved.

Mouradian spoke about the Armenian diaspora community of China. He based his talk on his research in China, which was made possible through a fellowship by the Gulbenkian Foundation. Mouradian shared stories from survivors of the Armenian Genocide who made their way to China, where they settled. He shared the contents of letters exchanged between a member of the Armenian community in China and his brother who lived abroad, as examples of life of the community there. He also spoke about the diplomatic influence of the community throughout the years.

The ARS YCP gives participants the opportunity to meet other young Armenians who are interested in various disciplines of science, business, and art, but are united by an interest in Armenian issues. The program provides a space for productive discussions, with talented speakers acting as guides. Participants were inspired to engage in their communities to bring about change for the better.

2015 ARS YCP participants


Tufankjian speaking about her project

The post 2015 ARS Youth Connect Program a Success appeared first on Armenian Weekly.


The 2015 Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Youth Connect program took place on Feb. 28-March 1, at New York University. Program Director Khatchig Mouradian, the coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University, ranthe programfor the second year in a row. The theme of this years program was Beyond the Centennial. The speakers were engaging, and encouraged the participating students and young professionals to find novel and creative ways to contribute to their local Armenian communities, and the Armenian culture in general, on the eve of the centennial. There were four speakers in the program: film director Eric Nazarian, photojournalist Scout Tufankjian, writer Matthew Karanian, and Mouradian, adjunct professor of history and sociology at Rutgers University. A scene from the event Nazarian began his talk with an anecdote. In his time in New York, he asked strangers a simple question: What is one story that you think would make for an excellent film? A recurring theme in the answers was tragedy and loss. Tragedy has a powerful influence on us and moves us to tell a story that can really connect with an audience, said Nazarian.Tragedy brings people together [...]

The post 2015 ARS Youth Connect Program a Success appeared first on Armenian Weekly.


The 2015 Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Youth Connect program took place on Feb. 28-March 1, at New York University. Program Director Khatchig Mouradian, the coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University, ranthe programfor the second year in a row. The theme of this years program was Beyond the Centennial. The speakers were engaging, and encouraged the participating students and young professionals to find novel and creative ways to contribute to their local Armenian communities, and the Armenian culture in general, on the eve of the centennial. There were four speakers in the program: film director Eric Nazarian, photojournalist Scout Tufankjian, writer Matthew Karanian, and Mouradian, adjunct professor of history and sociology at Rutgers University. A scene from the event Nazarian began his talk with an anecdote. In his time in New York, he asked strangers a simple question: What is one story that you think would make for an excellent film? A recurring theme in the answers was tragedy and loss. Tragedy has a powerful influence on us and moves us to tell a story that can really connect with an audience, said Nazarian.Tragedy brings people together [...]

The post 2015 ARS Youth Connect Program a Success appeared first on Armenian Weekly.


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