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WHERE WE STAND: An update on Neighbors In Memory

An update on the status of the project Neighbors in Memory, followed by a panel discussion with community members shedding light on the state of Armenian-Turkish relations as they live and witness it.   April 2018 at the Capitol Theatre, Arlington, MA 02474.

Panel Discussion: Past Wrongs, Future Rights?

Reflections on Armenian-Turkish relations among a group of Armenians and Turks in and around the Boston area. Panel participants will comment on the screening and share their thoughts and feelings with the audience. Questions from the audience will be encouraged and refreshments will be served.


APO TOROSYAN was born (1942) in Istanbul, Turkey, to Armenian and Greek parents. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Istanbul’s Academy of Fine Arts. His previous documentary films include Bread Series, Water, The Gates, Witnesses, Discovering My Father’s Village: Edincik, Voices and Morgenthau Story. Apo was a member of (IAGS) International Association of Genocide Scholars. Since 1986, he has had many solo and group shows all over the U.S. and Europe, and his work has appeared in private and corporate collections in Turkey, Greece, Spain, France, Armenia, Canada, and the U.S. His art works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art at Tonneins, Bordeaux, France; the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, MA; Ararat Eskijian Museum in Los Angeles, CA; Armenian Western Diocese in Burbank, CA; A.G.B.U. Manoogian Collection, Montreal, Canada; Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT; Flaten Art Museum in Northfield, MN and Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, FL.

Born in Gaziantep, Turkey, TÜLAY KILIÇDAĞI received her BA and MA degrees in political science at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. She started her career at TUSIAD (Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association) where she mainly worked on international business development activities. Later in her career, Kılıçdağı specialized in Public Relations and Communications and worked in the communications department of ING Band Turkey as well as Novartis Turkey. She recently moved to Boston with her husband (Turkish Armenian journalist Ohannes Kılıçdağı) and their four years old son.

A native of Worcester and a graduate of Tufts University, LAURA BILAZARIAN PURUTYAN works in the world of education and community building, investing in people and systems that promote understanding and human engagement. Laura is a STEM Workforce Career Specialist, working for Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce, Inc. She is also the Sunday School Superintendent for St. James Armenian Church in Watertown. Laura is married to Herman Purutyan, born and raised in Istanbul. They have a daughter who works in the medical industry and a son studying engineering in college.

MARDIROS MERDINIAN (formerly Merdinoğlu) was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey in a middle-class Armenian family with roots in Arapgir, Western Armenia. After graduating from the now closed Anarathigutyun Armenian Catholic elementary school in Istanbul in the mid-80’s, Mardiros continued his education in Turkish private and public schools instead of becoming an Armenian jeweler’s apprentice in Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı) which was his Armenian teacher’s recommendation. During high school years, he joined an Armenian youth group that was meeting periodically at the Aras Publishing house, publisher of Armenian and Turkish books on Armenian literature. There, his thoughts about his Armenian identity took shape. Upon graduating from the Istanbul University Computer Science Department, he came to the United States to pursue his graduate education. He earned his M.S. degree from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. In the following years, Mardiros became active in New Jersey’s Armenian community and briefly co-hosted the Armenian Radio Hour of New Jersey. After a year in Ann Arbor Michigan, in 2010, Mardiros and his family settled in the Boston metro area. Besides his professional interests in computer science and cybersecurity, Mardiros closely follows Armenian and Turkish politics and enjoys learning about the history of these nations.

İHSAN KARAYAZI is a Turkish citizen of Kurdish descent, born in Adana, Turkey. He has spent most of his professional life working and volunteering in different capacities for local governments as well as the United Nations. He has done extensive work with a number of NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) in Kars, an eastern Anatolian city in Turkey bordering Armenia. For the past decade, Ihsan has taken part in various rapprochement efforts between Turkey and Armenia. He is the curator of the Turkish/Armenian book titled Beraber az mı tuz ekmek yedik (Haven’t We shared Much Salt and Bread) and the producer of a documentary with the same title.

TAWA Panel Discussion at FSU (April 2017)

NIM (Neighbors in Memory) Launch at BU (December 2016)

See also:
Works in Progress
Upcoming Events

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