samedi 17 avril 2021 - 19:29 | Paris
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Ararat – Eskijian Museum : Feminism in Mari Beylerian’s writings

Le 03/03/2021 | Par | Catégorie: LA CRITIQUE LITTÉRAIRE



Historiography on Armenian revolutionary movement remembers Hunchak activist Mari Beylerian (1877-1915) only
by her memorable speech during the Bab-ı Ali Demonstration, one of the most important rallies demanding justice
for Armenians in the Ottoman lands. Years later, Beylerian would regretfully reflect on the violent suppression of the
protest and the subsequent pogrom against Armenians in the city. That day had also marked the beginning of her
life as a persona non-grata in the eyes of the Ottoman state. In this lecture, Dr. Bilal will talk about Beylerian’s legacy
as a staunch feminist writer, an activist committed to social justice, and a devoted pedagogue who disappeared
amidst the horrors of the genocide. Beylerian was the founder and editor-in-chief of Ardemis monthly, one of the
earliest women’s independent publications in Egypt and an original attempt to define a feminism in critical relation
to its contemporary manifestations in the “West.” She was an unapologetic defender of social change for the
betterment of women’s condition of oppression. Her perspective was firmly anchored in her anti-capitalist
consciousness and in moralist philosophy. She wrote about justice, freedom, and equality as prerequisites to
responsibility and integrity. She used her pen to denounce wars, to advocate for peace, and to conceptualize
Armenian people’s right to self-defense and self-determination. She raised a unique feminist critique from within
the Christian theology and used it as the basis of her condemnation of domestic violence and honor killings.
Throughout her life, Beylerian not only served as a teacher and administrator, but also actively wrote on philosophy
of education and on how to create equal opportunities for female and economically deprived students. Her
feminism’s prophetic element was to attribute women the right and duty of serving their people’s persistence to
exist, a heavy responsibility successfully fulfilled by those women public intellectuals who, unlike her, were lucky
enough to survive the collective and state violence against Armenians.

Ardemis

Photo: Mari Beylerian (front, center) with the Graduating Class of Izmir’s Hripsimyants Armenian



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