1 Nouvel Hay Magazine

Une expo photo du 24 mars au 27 avril 2017 à Glendale, Californie




An Armenian Family Odyssey

On View:

March 24 – April 27, 2018

Opening Reception:

Saturday | March 24 | 6PM – 9PM








This exhibition tells the story of an Armenian family, the Dildilians, many of whose members worked as photographers in Ottoman Turkey. They lived, worked, and raised their families in the Anatolian cities of Sebastia (Sivas), Marsovan (Merzifon), Samsun and the surrounding communities. The story begins in the 1870s, tracing the lives of the Dildilians through the last decades of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. The rupture created by the genocide and their eventual exile from their homeland in 1922 play a central role in the story. While the surviving members of the family rebuilt their lives in their adopted countries of Greece, France, and the United States, the Dildilians never forgot the life they left behind. The story is a painful one, encompassing the violent eradication of Armenians from their 3,000-year old homeland. Yet the photographic narrative also testifies to the cultural, educational, and commercial achievements of this proud nation.  

Many of the photographs gathered for this exhibition were taken by Tsolag and Aram Dildilian over the course of 34 years in the cities, towns, and countryside of central Anatolia and the Black Sea Coast. The next generation continued the family legacy of photography in Greece and the United States through the 1970s. The photographs and glass negatives in the family archive number in the thousands – a truly unique treasure unmatched by Armenian families who survived the genocide. The texts of the exhibition were written by Armen T. Marsoobian, the grandson of Tsolag Dildilian. They are based upon the written and oral memoirs of two generations of storytellers.

This exhibition is co-curated by Işın Önol and Armen T. Marsoobian is dedicated to Osman Kavala who currently is unjustly imprisoned in Turkey for his human rights work that has sought to foster dialogue between Turks, Kurds, Greeks, and Armenians.

A full account of the family story can be found in Marsoobian’s recently published books, Fragments of a Lost Homeland: Remembering Armenia (I. B. Tauris, 2015) and Reimagining a Lost Armenian Home: The Dildilian Photography Collection (I. B. Tauris, 2017).

Exhibition sponsors: National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), Antranik Zorayan, Ararat-Eskijian Museum, Harry Parsekian, Hamazkayin – Armenian Cultural and Educational Society.