NORTHRIDGE, CA — The Armenian Studies Program at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) will host a conference on the theme of Armenian Genocide Survivors and the Woven Art. The event will take place at the Oviatt Library conference room on Saturday, March 29, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. It is cosponsored by the Armenian Rugs Society and the United Armenian Council of Los Angeles.

This conference aims to illuminate the Armenian Genocide from the perspective of the woven art in its widest scope: rugs, embroideries, lace work, handkerchiefs, textiles, and so on. The artists were widows and orphans, survivors who from the massacres in the mid-1890s through the decades following World War I maintained their sanity and dignity by keeping busy with gainful occupations. In a sense, traumatized as they were, they mocked life’s unfairness and cruelty by producing what was beautiful and ennobling. Their manufactured articles reached Europe, the United States and elsewhere. People purchased them out of humanitarianism, but by doing so they also enriched themselves with valueless artworks.

The following speakers will participate: Gevork Nazaryan, “Armenian Weaving Centers in the Ottoman Empire on the Eve of the Genocide”; Harold Bedoukian, “Armenian Orphans and Orphanages: Their Contribution to the Carpet Weaving World”; Vahram Shemmassian,” The Industries at the Armenian Refugee Campof Port Said, 1915-1919”;Hratch Kozibeyokian, “The Revival of an Ancient People and Their Crafts in Post-World War I Aleppo, Syria”; Susan Lind-Sinanian: “Stitching to Survive: Handcrafts of Armenian Widows and Orphans, 1896-1930”; Bared Maronian, “The Newly-Discovered Hajin Orphan Rug.” Dr. Hasmig Baran will introduce the speakers.

CSUN is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, California. The parking structure is B3 at Darby and Prairie streets (the information booth for parking tickets is on Prairie). For further information, contact vahram.shemmassian@csun.edu or (818) 677-3456.

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