Daily Life in the Abyss: Genocide Diaries, 1915-1918

A lecture by Vahé Tachjian (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris)

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In 1915, two Armenian families (the Bogharians and the Tavukjians) were deported from Ayntab (in the Ottoman Empire), together with many other Armenian inhabitants of the town. They were forcibly resettled, first, in Hama, and then in the nearby town of Salamiyya (today in Syria). Two diaries written by members of these families have come down to us: one by Father Nerses Tavukjian, the other by Krikor Bogharian. Setting out from these diaries, Vahé Tachjian's book talk recreates the quotidian world of deportees, ordinary lives caught in an extraordinary historical moment. Through analysis of diaries and other source material, the talk reconstructs the rhythms of daily life within an often bleak and hostile environment, in the face of a gradually disintegrating social fabric.

Vahé Tachjian earned his Ph.D. in History and Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. He is now the chief editor of the Berlin based Houshamdyan website. His main publications are: La France en Cilicie et en Haute-Mésopotamie, Paris, 2004; Les Arméniens, 1917-1939; La quête d’un refuge, Paris, 2007 (co-editor); Ottoman Armenians: Life, Culture, Society, Vol 1, Berlin, 2014 (editor), Daily life in the Abyss: Genocide Diaries, 1915-1918, NY/Oxford, 2017.

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Duration: 39:33

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Published: Monday, April 1, 2019