Missing Images: Textures of Memory in Diaspora

  • Marie-Aude Baronian
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Genocide book series (PSHG)


As photography theorist Susan Sontag has written, ‘the Western memory museum is mostly a visual one’.3 But how do we visually articulate the memory of an event that has such a complicated and traumatic imprint even 100 years after its occurrence?


Cultural Identity Contemporary Artist Miss Image Armenian Genocide Video Diary 
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  1. 3.
    S. Sontag, ‘Regarding the Torture of Others’, The New York Times, 23 May 2004.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    J. M. Carzou (1975) Un génocide exemplaire (Paris: Flammarion).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See M. A. Baronian (2013b) Mémoire et Image. Regards sur la Catastrophe arménienne ( Lausanne: L’Age d’Homme).Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    G. Didi-Huberman (2008) Images in Spite of All: Four Photographs from Auschwitz ( Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    On German Armin T. Wegner’s photographic collection, see T. Hofmann and G. Koutcharian (1992) ‘Images that Horrify and Indict: Pictorial Documents on the Persecution and Extermination of Armenians from 1877 to 1922’, Armenian Review, Vol. 45 (1–2): 53–184. In recent years, we have witnessed an acceleration of the disclosure and production of images by, for example, contemporary artists. A significant example is the early American film Ravished Armenia/Auction of Souls (1919, Oscar Apfel) based on the book and the true story of Aurora Mardiganian’s Ravished Armenia (1918). It is the first feature film that deals with genocidal violence but it has only been recently rediscovered and partially restored. Genocide survivor Mardiganian’s testimony has been of great inspiration for Atom Egoyan’s video installation Auroras (2007 and 2015).Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    See M. A. Baronian (2013a) Cinéma et Mémoire. Sur Atom Egoyan ( Brussels: Editions Académie Royale Belgique).Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    My point here is largely inspired by the work of French-Armenian philosopher Marc Nichanian. See M. Nichanian (2009) The Historiographic Perversion ( New York: Columbia University Press).Google Scholar
  8. 18.
    See D. Kouymjian (1984) ‘Destruction des monuments historiques comme poursuite de la politique du génocide’, in G. Chaliand and P. Vidal-Naquet (eds) Le Crime du silence ( Paris: Flammarion ), pp. 295–313.Google Scholar
  9. 20.
    M. Hoolboom (2001) Inside the Pleasure Dome: Fringe Film in Canada ( Toronto, ON: Couch House Books ), p. 149.Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    S. Hall (1997) ‘Cultural Identity and Diaspora’, in K. Woodward (ed.) Identity and Difference ( New York: Routledge ), pp. 52–3.Google Scholar
  11. 22.
    M. Hirsch (1997) Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press ), p. 244.Google Scholar
  12. 24.
    J. Clifford (1999) ‘Diasporas’, in R. Cohen and S. Vertovec (eds) Migration, Diasporas and Transnationalism ( Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing ), p. 310.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Marie-Aude Baronian 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Aude Baronian
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamNetherlands
  2. 2.Cultural AnalysisAmsterdam SchoolUSA

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