video by Kevork Mourad
performed by the Argus Quartet: Clara Kim, violin; Giancarlo Latta, violin; Maren Rothfritz, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello
Instrumentation: String Quartet and Electronics
Rerooted traces the journeys of over a dozen Armenian families through their recorded testimonies, from their expulsion from the homeland during the genocide in the early 20th century through the rebuilding of their lives and community in Syria, their displacement during the civil war in their adopted home, and their resettlement in the Republic of Armenia. Armenians have lived in Syria for centuries and it has been home to one of the major centers of the Armenian diaspora since the genocide. The war-time destruction of this community has led many of its members to repatriate to Armenia, though it is an Armenia different in geography, language, and culture than the one their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents fled a century earlier. Their stories reflect the resilience of a community defined by exile and the realities of a displacement that leads back to the homeland.
Thank you to Anoush Baghdassarian and Ani Schug of the Rerooted Archive for facilitating the use of these interviews and to Angel Ajemian, Garbis Arabatlian, Hagop Atikian, Ani Avakian, Anjel Ayranian, Ara Boudakian, Kevork Beyazbegian, Sona Gildalian, Mayda Hindoyan, Hagop Kereshian, Janet Manoushian, Vicky Masrie, Takouhi Naljian, Krikor Sahagian, Anahid Sarafian, Rita Sarkisian, Vrej Sharoyan*, Vartanoush Shitilian, Sevan Torosian, and Dzovinar Yeretsian for sharing your stories. Thank you also to Van Der Mugrdechian for transcription support. You can hear more of the Rerooted Archive's interviews with Syrian-Armenians at rerooted.org.
Rerooted was supported by New Music USA’s Creator Development Fund in 2021.