Instructions for Interaction
Use your pointer to hover over parts of the image to see their respective descriptions.
Hepimiz Ermeniyiz or We are all Armenian
This painting is a commemoration of the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire – present-day Turkey. It also serves as an introduction for those who are unfamiliar with this disastrous event. Though large-scale violence against Armenians dates back to the 1890s, the worst phase began on April 24,1915, so that is regarded as the official start of the genocide. This piece has been completed in order to honour its centenary.
The composition includes many emblems of Armenian culture: Mount Ararat, the distinctive Armenian cross, the Armenian Church of the Holy Cross, the Armenian flag, a map of routes used to march Armenians out of Turkey, and the colours of the Armenian flag.
Archival photos in the piece depict scenes of a deliberate campaign against the Armenians encompassing deportation, starvation, imprisonment and slaughter. Roughly 1.5 million died in just six years. Fragments of foil stars and moon slivers from the Turkish flag symbolize the mad frenzy during this period. Red, a prominent colour on both the Turkish and Armenian flags, flows like blood and anger. Sorrowful blues and purples emanate from the Armenian flag and the funeral processions of journalist Hrant Dink. He was assassinated in 2007 because he publicly maintained that a genocide had occurred – a belief that to this day, is a crime against the Turkish state.
Beneath the surface of the composition, there is a piece of lace which lies flat in some places and falls into folds in others. Its placement and dimension are random. It can allude to many things – domesticity, culture, harmony, comfort, order, memory, prosperity: all things Armenians were forced to abandon.
Mount Ararat, dominant and indifferent in the composition, reminds us how the natural world endures.