In 1915, Turkish leaders declared their intent to eliminate "the Armenian problem" through forced deportations and massacres of Armenians living in the declining Ottoman Empire. According to the United Human Rights Council, the Armenian Genocide was named "the first genocide of the 20th Century" and resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians. Tonight's event commemorates the centennial anniversary, as Armenian-Americans authors present their latest works exploring the genocide, the diaspora, and the lingering emotions felt by all Armenians to this day. With special screening of the documentary short Born in Adana.
Sona Avakian is a proud Armenian.
Serge Bakalian is a San Francisco-based filmmaker, activist, and Executive Director of the Arab Film Festival. Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, he has worked at the United Nations and Greenpeace International, and completed the award-winning Default: the Student Loan Documentary, which was released on PBS and over 140 broadcasting stations around the country. In 2013, he started production on his current film, Way of the Warthogs.
Eric Bogosian is an actor, playwright, and novelist of Armenian descent whose recent nonfiction work, Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide (Little, Brown) documents the conspiracy that targeted and assassinated Turkish leaders responsible for the Armenian Genocide. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his play Talk Radio, and is recipient of many awards including the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear Award. In addition to his celebrated film and theater work, he has authored three novels. He lives in New York City with the director Jo Bonney.
Carol Edgarian is an author, editor, and publisher. Her novels include The New York Times bestseller Three Stages of Amazement and the international bestseller Rise the Euphrates, winner of the ANC Freedom Prize. She is co-founder and editor of NarrativeMagazine.com, a leading digital platform for fiction, poetry, interviews, and art. A newly revised edition of Rise the Euphrates was released in April to mark the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
David Hovan is a Canadian-Armenian award-winning filmmaker. He was introduced to the masters of French, Italian, and Russian cinemas at an early age by his father, and his first 8mm camera cemented a lifelong passion. Graduating with an MFA in Theater from Southern Methodist University, he pursued postgraduate work in Theater and Film at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Aline Ohanesian is a descendant of Armenian Genocide survivors. Her great-grandmother’s history was the kernel for the story that she tells in her first novel, Orhan's Inheritance. A finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction and Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers, she lives in San Juan Capistrano, California, with her husband and two young sons.
Katherine Taylor is author of the novels Valley Fever (2015) and Rules for Saying Goodbye (2007). Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Elle, Town & Country, ZYZZYVA, The Southwest Review, and Ploughshares. She has a B.A. from University of Southern California and a master’s degree from Columbia University, where she was a Graduate Writing Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.