International Conference: The Armenian Genocide: History, Memory, Responsibility – Casa Filipescu-Cesianu

The Armenian Genocide: History, Memory, Responsibility

International Conference

Bucharest City Museum, Casa Filipescu-Cesianu, October 13-14, 2017

Organizers: Union of Armenians of Romania, Lepsiushaus Potsdam, Bucharest City Museum, Orbis Tertius Association

Conveners: Varujan Vosganian, Rolf Hosfeld, Bedros Horasangian, Sorin Antohi

The first proof of Armenian presence on the territories inhabited by Romanians is a Cetatea Albă tombstone dated 967 AD. Over time, this presence has become ever more significant. Thus, historian Nicolae Iorga was right to say that Armenians are somehow the ancestors of the medieval principality of Moldova. On the vast map of the Armenian diaspora, the Romanian lands have remained an important location ever since. In Romania’s historical mesoregion, defined by geopolitical instability and fluid, multiple, contested identities, many people of various, entangled backgrounds (ethnic, religious, linguistic, social) could trace back their origins to some Armenian ancestor. After the 1915 genocide, a tragic new wave of Armenian immigrants has reached Romania, and some of their descendants are still around. Rumor had it that a government of Armenia could be easily formed in interwar Bucharest by the post-genocide refugees.

In recent years, worldwide attention has been devoted to the history, memory, and official recognition of the Armenian genocide. This attention has triggered a multitude of conferences and publications, research programs and civic, educational, artistic, and media initiatives.

With this in mind, an international conference is convened in Bucharest to explore the history of the Armenian genocide and of its lasting consequences (with an emphasis on their conceptual and comparative dimensions), its memory (including its forgetting, denial, forgiveness, transgenerational trauma, and public significance), and the related issues of responsibility (from the ethics of memory to political recognition, from moral solidarity to retrospective justice).

The conference is part of the series of public dialogues, Ideas in the Agora, initiated and coordinated by Sorin Antohi at the Bucharest City Museum.

The event will be open to the public, enjoy media coverage, will be video recorded and broadcast live in Internet, also being the basis for the future publication of a collective volume in English.