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Armenian Genocide remembered

Friday, March 27, 2015

Three campus events will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Three campus events will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The author of an award-winning memoir will help St. Cloud State recall the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.

Meline Toumani, the Armenian-American author of the "There Was and There Was Not," will speak 7 p.m. April 15 in Ritsche Auditorium and host an informal conversation 10 a.m. April 16 in Voyageurs Room, Atwood Memorial Center. The 2002 film drama "Ararat" will be screened 6:30 p.m. April 22 in the Atwood Theater.

Toumani's 2014 book about living in Turkey was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award. Among the book's other awards are a Kirkus Reviews Best Non-Fiction Book nod.

All events are free and open to the public. Participants in the April 16 conversation must register with an email to chge@stcloudstate.edu. Parking is $1.50 an hour at the 4th Avenue Parking Ramp.

Though it began a century ago, Armenian Genocide remains a source of pain and conflict. That the genocide happened is a matter of historical record. As many as 1.5 million Armenians were systematically exterminated in the Ottomon Empire, with many dying on death marches and in concentration camps.

Some nations recognize the Armenian Genocide. Others, led by Turkey, chief heir of the former empire, do not. Turkey does not have diplomatic relations with its neighbor, the Republic of Armenia.

Toumani moved in 2005 to the capital, Istanbul, because she believed her community’s quest for genocide recognition was obstructing all other aspects of Armenian identity. "There Was and There Was Not" is a blend of reportage, memoir and essay that probes timeless questions: How to belong to a community without conforming to it? How to acknowledge a tragedy without exploiting it and most important? How to remember a genocide without perpetuating the kind of hatred that gave rise to it in the first place?

St. Cloud State's Armenian Genocide anniversary events are sponsored by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education. For more information contact the center's director, Dan Wildeson, at dlwildeson@stcloudstate.edu and 320-308-4201. 

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