… A story I never forgot…
… A story I never forgot… (2013), is a video installation in which the video, produced in an 'artisanal' manner, doesn't pretend to achieve technical excellence. Instead, it attempts to reorder and organize the fragmented memory of the Armenian genocide (c. 1915 to 1920) based on the stories and narratives I have heard since childhood. Being a Brazilian of Armenian descent from both sides, to forget such stories would mean forgetting one's own being.
The project is indeed a personal one. I started my career at the end of the 1980s, surrounded by episodes of violence and witnessing the social, economical, and political traumas in Brazil. At the time, I did not feel comfortable dealing with the Armenian theme: rather, my urgency was to bring together people numbed by the daily occurrences of these issues. Since then, I've been trying to delicately expand the reflection on violence and exclusion in the social fabric, where everyone ends up victimized.
When invited to take part in the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale, a city where my ancestors found refuge for several years, the remote past became so close to me.
Who remembers the Armenian genocide? I do.
It was necessary to reassemble each fragment of my memory as if working with a puzzle, full of enormous personal cost, to narrate once again the story which was told to me and which I never forgot. History runs through a handkerchief embroidered by my grandmother when she was a refugee in Thessaloniki, with the support of the Armenian General Benevolent, where she was an embroidery teacher. Transformed in each episode, the piece covers the story of her origins, her remembrances, her life in Greece and her eventual departure to Rio de Janeiro, to the handkerchief's return as part of the Thessaloniki Biennale.