Explorer Steven Sim and producer Ani Hovannisian Kevorkian have teamed up for a rare dig beneath the surface of modern-day Turkey.
Scotland-native Steven Sim may be the most-traveled modern explorer of the historical Armenian lands in present-day eastern Turkey. As an architecture student in Glasgow in the early 1980’s, Steve decided to spend a summer among the little-known medieval Armenian monuments of eastern Turkey rather than the oft-studied landmarks of Europe. During that first trip, Steve came across a landscape of abandoned architectural masterpieces. What began as a student project turned into a life obsession and mission, Steve has spent nearly 35 years documenting the remaining sites and relics of ‘Turkish Armenia,’ traveling alone each year from Scotland to uncover, experience, and commit to memory the vanishing traces of the Armenian past. He has, to date, taken more than 100,000 photographs.
When Armenian-American producer and documentarian Ani Hovannisian set out with a small group to discover the ancestral homeland she had heard about all her life from her genocide-survivor grandparents and historian father Richard Hovannisian, among others, she did not expect to find Steve. Trekking through cities, towns, and villages across the country, Ani, by chance, ran into him in an old Armenian house.
The unexpected intersection of the Scotsman’s and Armenian’s journeys merged ultimately into a joint expedition, with Sim continuing to uncover what lies beneath the modern map of Turkey, and Hovannisian documenting his discoveries, along with her own. As the testimony of the structures and the people emerge, so does evidence revealing the hidden map of Historic Armenia… and the making of the documentary, The Hidden Map.
Sim and Hovannisian will be in Los Angeles on November 10, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at the Ararat-Eskijian Museum-Sheen Chapel (Mission Hills), and in Fresno on November 13, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at Fresno State, Peters Auditorium.
This is a rare opportunity to meet Sim in person and preview a special edition of Hovannisian’s documentary, and have a lively exchange with both.
For information about the events, please contact (747) 500-7585 or [email protected] or www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies.
Admission is free and open to the public.