The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA and the Political Violence in the Modern World cluster course present "Unearthing, Discovering, Unlearning: Armenian Indigeneity in Turkey" by professor Talin Suciyan of the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. Ruken Sengul, Ph.D., will provide discussant commentary followed by Q&A. This lecture is co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, the UCLA Working Group in Memory Studies, the UCLA Department of Comparative Literature, and the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA Law.
Genocide is the utmost manifestation of colonial violence and therefore it is the most durable method of building institutionalized structures. Not all colonial powers committed genocides. Yet, many of the tools of governance utilized by the US and Turkey can be traced back to colonial practices and genocidal violence. One of the most tragic aspects of this structural and institutionalized violence is the fact that Armenians born and raised in Turkey are forcibly denied access to their indigeneity. Their indigenous knowledge and history which comes from being an annihilated population in their ancestral lands make their experience very similar to that of indigenous Americans. Being deprived of one’s own history, not knowing the names or whereabouts of one’s relatives, missing the basic knowledge about one’s roots and unlearning the catastrophic experiences of one’s ancestors over the last 100 years continue to perpetuate those structures of denial built through genocide.