Genocide Memorial
100 Year Commemoration

This composition is dedicated to all genocides of the world. The horrific concept behind “genocide” has deeply affected me as a human being and as an artist. The unbearable reality that a group of people systematically kill all the members of another national, ethnic or religious group, not to gain power or to conquer land, but for the sole intention of eradicating that group.

The Armenian Genocide was the first Genocide perpetrated in the 20th century and continues to affect every Armenian today. We are the continuation of the generations past and bear witness to the endless cry for justice for the death and destruction of 1915. 2015 marked the 100 year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide and it is imperative we put our collective efforts together and promote this memorial in remembrance of not only each and every fallen Armenian, but all Genocide victims.

A multitude of charred trees, uprooted, broken, bent and entwined form a narrow alley through which the viewer must pass through. The trees will be apricot trees that will be transported from those regions where the most atrocious mass killings took place. The trees, cast in bronze and burned to symbolize the victims, are in different shapes and sizes, representing children, women and men who perished. Once beautiful and radiant with life and fruit, these trees are now burned and beaten to the ground…a ground that is stained red from the blood of the murdered. With each step forward, one is forced to bow further down, bend and stoop like the trees, feeling the agony and unimaginable cruelty.

The grave walk ends at the circular opening and focal point of the composition. The viewer will at last reach an open space framed by trees. In the center stands a beautiful tall red poppy, which is prevalent in meadows and valleys of the magnificent Armenian landscape. The poppy has emerged from the soil…from the collective force of the roots deep beneath the soil. As fragile as its red petals are and as slender as its stem is, this new life stands striking and proud, having at its foundation strength and relentless spirit.

William Saroyan writes, “I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race; this small tribe of unimportant people whose history is ended, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, whose literature is unread, whose music is unheard, whose prayers are no longer uttered. Go ahead, destroy this race. Let us say that it is again 1915; there is war in the world. Destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them from their homes into the desert. Let them have neither bread nor water. Burn their houses and their churches. See if they will not live again. See if they will not laugh again. See if you can stop them from mocking the big ideas of the world. You sons of bitches. Go ahead, try to destroy them.”

Khachik Khachatouryan