Inheritance Project 2 | a continuing exploration of the elements of ethnic identity and the celebration of origins
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In 2002, The Inheritance Project produced the exhibition, Inheritance: Art and Images Beyond a Silenced Genocide, and launched the first Inheritance Project website. That site is now being hosted by The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota. This premiering website presented nine Armenian-American artists as inheritors of an ancient culture — rich in tradition, but with a history of domination by more powerful nations. The Ottoman pogroms of the 19th century against its Armenian citizens, and the consequent Genocide of 1915-23 forced many survivors into Diaspora in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. For the most part, these survivors carried on with their lives, memories of genocide becoming silent whispers and evil dreams. The notion of an inter-generational transmission of trauma is a modern concept. They didn’t have the opportunity to speak, and no one then could listen and act. There was no post-traumatic treatment. The recipe for changing one’s destiny was hard work, denial and bed rest. The Turkey of today continues to deny the crimes of its Ottoman antecedents, claiming instead, a condition of civil war.

It is easy for the descendants of an overlooked people to lose historical and ethnic identity in the process of Western assimilation. Inheritance Project–2 now explores ethnic identity and the celebration of origins in a collection of on-going artful projects, which give visual voice to the deep sense of history, culture and tragedy of the Armenian people, from as far back as is remembered to this very day.

Inheritance Project–2 is pleased to present Pailoun’s Story, a letter to her girlhood friend, by Naomi M. Pridjian. This series of 40 digital montages is the story of a little girl from Kharpert, her family’s emigration to America and the events that shaped their immigrant lives. The story begins with Pailoun’s grandparents residing in Gumish Madan, Turkey in the late 19th century, and ends with her death, at the end of the 20th century, a naturalized citizen of the United States.

We hope you enjoy this presentation and possibly even be moved to explore your own history and origins. It’s a fascinating and rewarding process. Questions, comments and request to purchase prints of any of the images or assemblages or can be directed to info@naomisgallery.com.

female artists Digital artists computer artists Pridjian Chicago Illinois
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