(Dir. Somnur Vardar, 2013, 86 mins, in Armenian/English/Turkish)
Beginnings follows a group of youths from Armenia and Turkey who meet in two cities on either side of the divide to reconcile the past, present and future of their perpetual conflict stemming from the Armenian genocide. First in Mush, then in Gyumri, their explorations of conflicting memories open up an intense dialogue about the nature of preserving history as a means of evaluating modernity and educating people to learn from historical error. While close relationships develop, these youth must question notions of friendship and trust within a quest to face issues of memory, history, genocide, denial and the demand for the truth.
Session 12 - "What was it like growing up Armenian in ..."
The 12th in the series - What was it like growing up Armenian in ... was held on Sunday July 21, 2019 at the Merriam Park Library. Presenters for this session were Mark Wiersbeck and his Mother Sarah Wiersbeck. Nairy moderated the session which was attended by 15 people. After an informative and interesting formal presentation, there was a short Q&A session followed by refreshments.
The ACOM Annual Picnic
was held Sunday June 23, 2019. The picnic was again held at Como Park in the West pavilion. a needed shelter from the rain that happened soon after the start time for the festivities. This rain did not dampen the spirits of the more than 30 people who attended. We even were resourceful (aren't all Armenians?) and were able to grill in the rain. Good food and fellowship reigned for the day!!!
ACOM's Genocide Commemoration was held on April 24th 2019 at the Merriam Park Library in St. Paul. The event included a moderated panel of Armenians that were descendents of Genocide survivors. Tom Keljik moderated the discussion. The event started off with the attendees being asked to locate on a map where their ancestors were from in Historic Armenia.
Armenians were present at this years Festival of Nations with the Armenian Cultural Organization of Minnesota (ACOM) presenting Dance on the World Stage (see Dance Ensemble) and in the demonstration area of the Bazaar. Janet Rith-Najarian brought the arts and crafts of Armenia to life with her engaging demonstration of felting and Hat making this year. Her [resentations have grown over the years from beginning as Silk Work artistry, then to incorporate wool fabric making and natural dyeing techniques, and now to felting and hatmaking. She has put together an impressive and colorful exhibit explaining the rich heritage that Armenians bring to the world. Browse through the picture gallery for examples of this years booth and the people involved.
On March 24th, ACOM presented the 11th session in the series "What was it like growing up Armenian in ....". The panelists for this session were; Darla Kashian (Milwaukee,WI), Marty Meketarian (Cleveland, OH) and Margarita Aroutiunian (Yerevan, Armenia)
ACOM's annual Gaghant Party was again held at Midpointe Event Center - on Friday January 11, 2019. Over 100 people were registered and provided with dinner catered by Mim's Restaurant, a Silent Auction, a Kids Game room, and dancing to Music Mundial.
INAUGURAL SESSION - WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING MARRIED TO AN ARMENIAN
ACOM presented the first in a new series of interesting and informative panel sessions, at the Merriam Park Library on September 30th 2018. The new series is entitled "What is it like being married to an Armenian" and was moderated by John Parker der-Boghossian. Topics covered by the panelists during the session dealt with - how long married, the panelists own ethnicity and experience in it, prior knowlege of Armenia and Armenians, involvement in the Armenian community since becoming married, what new things have they learned about Armenians, what are their likes (and dislikes,If any) of "Armenian ways". The following article by Bradley Erickson gives a capsule take on the session:
ACOM Cinema Saturday in August featured parts 3 and 4 of the Russian produced TV comedy - My Big Armenian Wedding.
Tigran, a popular plastic surgeon in Moscow with roots in Armenia, and Lena, a well-educated and beautiful Russian woman, are in love. Families on both sides are mostly against the prospect of a "mixed marriage" and therefore devise various schemes to derail the impending engagement. Absurd and delightful situations develop. Comments on the series were, in general, positive. Although it was a bit over-the-top in some aspects, the filming taking place in Armenia was particularily interesting. Many familiar sights were presented. The major characters portrayed for the Armenian family were said to be quite accurate especially the Grandmother. The series got off to a slow start but as the plot developed it became more interesting and funny. Since the production was Russian, the dialog was mostly in Russian with some Armenian thrown in. The series was subtitled in English for those of us who are not conversant with either Armenian or Russian.
Thanks to Natasha Vaubel for her knowledge and diligence in rounding up these Armenian films.
The annual ACOM Summer Picnic was held this year at Como Park in St. Paul. We had reserved the West Picnic Shelter for this event. This is a new location for us but provided lots of opportunities for the attendees. The Shelter was near the Como Mini-Golf course, just across the street from Como Town (rides for kids). A short walk took people to the Cafesjian Carousel, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and the Como Zoo. There was a kids' play area near the shelter also.
The picnic started at 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, July 29, 2018. There was a grill nearby and many people brought their own meat to grill. The weather was extremely accommodating, even though there was a slight chance of rain (which didn't happen!!). More than 50 Armenians and their families and friends joined us for the afternoon with food, music, conversation, fellowship, games and simply a marvelous time for all. Comments we heard about the venue were very positive and people would like to return to the same location next year.
The ACOM Pool party for 2018 was graciously hosted by Leroy and Cynthia Erickson at their home on Sunday June 24th 2018. The day was perfect for the event and the 24+ people who attended had a wonderful tine. Leroy, as usual, cooked up hamburgers and brats amid some clouds of smoke. There was a lot of good food provided by those who attended, with beverages provided by the Ericksons. This event has been another more intimate summer gathering for ACOM members for a number of years. Stay tuned for our ACOM summer picnic to be held at St. Paul's Como Park on Sunday July 29th (Details)
Taner Akҫam honored by World Without Genocide
at the WWG Gala held at the Minneapolis Women's Club
on May 14th 2018
Dr. Akçam (right) with Executive Director Dr. Ellen Kennedy (center) and Sarah Erickson, J.D. (left),
recipient of the Alice Musabende Outstanding Citizen Award.
Chair of the Board of Directors Jack Rendler (left) presenting the award to Dr. Akçam (right).
For the complete text of Dr. Akҫam's remarks Click Here