I have covered many stories about the Armenian American community, especially of their frustration and sorrows surrounding the Genocide of 1915. One day, on a visit to the Brand Library in Glendale, I noticed an art exhibit that included works that not only portrayed man’s inhumanity to man, but also the aftermath, including hope, survival, and forgiveness. The United States has yet to acknowledge the massacre of 1.5 Armenians, as well as Assyrians, and Greeks, as a genocide, to the disappointment of many, including System of a Down frontman and activist Serj Tankian, whom I also interviewed. Below is a photo of an unforgettable and chilling sculpture I saw at the exhibit by artist Zareh, called “Turkish Soup Made from Armenian Bones.” From my story, (Daily News, April, 2009).
The story of mass murder unfolds within a single room brightened by a skylight and filled with paintings, sculptures and still frames.
In one corner sits a wooden cart made by an artist named Zareh. The cart carries a stockpot holding a skeleton and a sign that reads: “Turkish Soup made with Armenian Bones.”
On a wall nearby lean three canvas panels filled with black-and-white photographs of emaciated men, women and children. The piece, compiled by artist Kaloust Guedel, is called: “Before Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.”
The works are displayed in a new exhibit titled “Man’s Inhumanity to Man” that opened recently at Glendale’s Brand Library Art Galleries, just as the worldwide Armenian community marks the 94th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Friday.
“It raises the question of what could have been avoided,” Guedel said one recent day at the galleries.
In Guedel’s view, if the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians by Turkish hands beginning in 1915 had been recognized for a genocide, then future atrocities such as the Holocaust, the Pol Pot massacres and those in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur, could have been avoided.