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Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa, 1875-2022: A Photographic and Archaeological Journey

Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa, 1875-2022: A Photographic and Archaeological Journey

Map of Jerusalem distributed to tourists by the American Colony, ca. 1890

Launching a new exhibit from the Armenian Image Archive, the panelists will explore the fourteen "Stations of the Cross" along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, highlighting photographs from the Bonfils Studio in 1875 and new images from photographer Jack Persekian, taken specifically for this exhibit. Also included is a survey of the archaeological evidence regarding the presumed burial site of Jesus of Nazareth by Professor Shimon Gibson of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

This webinar is hosted by the UCLA Promise Armenian Institute and the Armenian Film Foundation with co-sponsorship by the UCLA Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History, the UCLA Narekatsi Chair in Armenian Studies, the UCLA Library, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) and the Ararat-Eskijian Museum.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Pacific Time)

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Explore the Stations of the Cross exhibit at armenianimage.org/viadolorosa/viadolorosa-intro

Launching a new exhibit from the Armenian Image Archive, the panelists will explore the fourteen "Stations of the Cross" along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, highlighting photographs from Bonfils Studio in 1875 and new images from photographer Jack Persekian, taken specifically for this exhibit.  Also included is a survey of the archaeological evidence regarding the presumed burial site of Jesus, by renowned scholar, Professor Shimon Gibson. 

Participants: 

Dr. Joseph Malikian, Exhibition Curator: 
With the development of more advanced photographic processes, such as the collodion process, European photographers identified the importance of documenting images of the Near East. Many of them converged in Palestine to capture its archeological sites, biblical scenes and cultural artifacts.  Around 1875, Félix Bonfils and his associates embarked on a photographic mission to document the processional path that Jesus took to his crucifixion on the Via Dolorosa (Latin for “Sorrowful Way”).  Dr. Malikian will explore the innovative contribution to photography by the Bonfils Studio.  Malikian is the Curator of the Armenian Image Archive, as well as the curator of this exhibition.  He is the founder of the Malikian Collection, and author of “The Armenians in the Ottoman Empire” (2011).  

 

Jack Persekian, Photographer:
Over a century after the Bonfils studio documented the fourteen Stations of the Cross, the artist and photographer, Jack Persekian, embarked on a project in 2022 to retrace and visually record the cobblestone lined route on the Via Dolorosa and the symbolic tomb of Christ within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  Persekian’s extensive photographic study of this sacred religious pathway, which includes the Garden of Gethsemane, stands in contrast to the images produced by the Bonfils studio some thirty-six years after the inception of photography, and before the sweeping changes brought about by modernity.  He will tell us about his recent challenges photographing the Via Dolorosa. 
Persekian is currently the Founder and Director of Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art and Gallery Anadiel in Jerusalem.  Previously, he held the position of Director and Head Curator of the Palestinian Museum (2012-2015); Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation (2009–2011); Artistic Director of the Sharjah Biennial (2007–2011); Head Curator of the Sharjah Biennial (2004–2007); Founder and Artistic Director of The Jerusalem Show (2007–present), and Qalandiya International (2012-2014).

 

Professor Shimon Gibson, Archaeologist:
What can archaeological analysis tell us about the supposed site of Jesus’ burial in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre?  Dr Shimon Gibson is a British-born archaeologist who has been working in the Holy Land for the past forty years. He was appointed in 2017 as Professor of Practice in the History Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  
During the past twenty years Gibson conducted numerous archaeological excavation projects and field surveys in different parts of Israel/Palestine, including the southern desert region.  He has extensively studied possible locations for Jesus’ tomb, including what is considered to be the traditional location in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  He will tell us about his research. 
His book The Final Days of Jesus: the Archaeological Evidence (2009) was published by HarperOne in the States; it has been translated into nine languages.  He recently co-edited (with D. Vieweger), The Archaeology and History of the Church of the Redeemer and the Muristan in Jerusalem (Oxford, 2016).