July 2, at Media Center press conference Armenian improved version editor Ruzanna Grigoryan and Hovhannisyan Institute director Vardan Azatyan talked about the Armenian edition of the book City of Orpahns.
This large scale initiative by Nora Nersesyan, American-Armenian art/culture historian, was published in 2016. The humanitarian research institute after Ashot Hovhannisyan took up the Armenian translation and editing as well publication of the book in 2017.
This exceptional orphanage story sample not only is a comprehensive narration of thousands of orphans’ lives but also does shed light on the historical and political incidents of that period. The City of Orphans is a unique vantage point for understanding the alliance, soviet and American policies, their contradictions and changing shades.
“It took over 2 years to edit and improve the translated version of the book. The number of books printed is 350 out of which 200-250 are for sale”, says Vardan Azatyan.
He notes that City of Orphans is the name that American mass media would use for the orphanage system that functioned in Aleksandrapol. Because of its size it was called a city.
Ruzanna Grigoryan says the book consists of 12 chapters, each one has attached documents and not ye published photos.
“The book has appendix with names of over 13 orphans”, says Grigoryan.
According to Grigoryan, Nora Nersesyan used various sources, Armenian research papers, American materials, as well as diaries of people who worked in the orphanage, archives and international press and so on.
“The content of the book depicts a turning point that relates to all of us. Many people found their ancestors in the orphans’ list and revealed their stories”, says Grigoryan.
Vardan Azatyan says the author impartially rediscloses the political history of that period by the story of the orphanage.
“Nora Nersesyan did not mean to defend the interests of this or that political force, rather she tried to stand by the orphan and point to the circumstances and events that the orphan went through. I think this is a very brave and at the same time dangerous thing to do. The book discloses the orphan nature of our identity and our new history”, says Vardan Azatyan.
He notes that book enables us to show differentiated approach to our soviet past.
At the end the speakers noted that two weeks later the sale presentation of the book will take place and in October there will be a meeting with the author.
For more please watch the video.
Lilit Arakelyan, Media Center project editor/coordinator.