PROVIDENCE, RI — On January 16, the screening of a documentary entitled “Century-old Genocide. Black January of Baku” was held in the capital city of the U.S. State of Rhode Island, Providence. The event was organized jointly by the Cultural Committee of the St. Sahak and Mesrop Armenian Church, Rhode Island’s Memorial Committee, and the Armenian Refugees’ Social and Economic Development Association (ARSEDA).
Permanent Representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to the USA Robert Avetisyan, Rhode Island MP Catherine Kazarian, representatives of St. Sahak and Mesrop Armenian Church, journalists, Armenian refugees from Baku, and representatives of the local Armenian community participated in the event dedicated to the anniversary of the Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijan.
After the screening, Artsakh’s representative in the USA Robert Avetisyan, Rhode Island MP Catherine Kazarian, ARSEDA Chairman Karen Baghdasaryan, and religious leaders delivered speeches. Member of the film’s creative team Haykaram Nahapetian presented the details of the documentary.
After his speech, NKR Permanent Representative Robert Avetisyan answered the questions related to the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, the negotiation process, and the problems of refugees.
“A century-long Genocide. Black January of Baku” is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Armenian pogroms in Baku. The film is based on interviews with refugees from Baku, recorded by a project crew in the United States. Yet only a small part of those witness accounts is used in the documentary.
The leading conceptual idea of the film is the tangible connection between those events in the early XX century in Ottoman Empire with what has been perpetrated against Armenians in Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. The memoirs of those refugees about their ancestors affected in Western Armenia account for the continuity of Turkish policies at the hands of Azerbaijan, as well as for the continuity of the genocide of Armenians for over a century. The stories told by refugees unveil a lot more previously untold details of pogroms of Armenians in Baku. These accounts leave no doubts that violence and killings of Armenians began in Baku right after Sumgait, and January 1990 was just the culmination of genocide and expulsion of 250,000-strong Armenian population of Baku.