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The Armenian Genocide, a one hundred year long silence
2015

How to photograph something that doesn't exist anymore and that people have tried to erase?
For seven years, Kathryn Cook has patiently led a work on the Armenian Genocide – the first of the 20th century – which caused the death of more than 1 million Armenians in Turkey.

In April 1915, during the First World War, Ottoman authorities decided the deportation and the massacre of the Armenian population from Anatolia, accused of collaboration with the Russian enemy. A hundred years later, the Turkish government still refuses the acknowledgment of the genocide. Yet, former Armenian territories still bear the traces of the tragedy.

Through accounts of Armenian and Turkish people met in Armenia, Turkey, Israel, Syria, or in the French town of Marseilles, Kathryn Cook manages to unravel the threads of a fragmented history based on unspoken and denial with a photographical writing mixing poetry and documentary.

The initial title of this work – Memory of Trees – refers to the Turkish village of Agacli (east of Turkey) photographed by Kathryn Cook, which represents a kind of analogy of her own artistic process. Indeed, in Turkish “Agacli” means “with trees” or “ trees' place”. This village, Armenian before 1915, is today mainly occupied by Kurdish people.

These photographies deal with topography, memory and oversight, exposing in a subtle way how the understanding of a landscape can evolve, while we know what happened there. More than a mere documentation of facts, her photographies carry the emotional charge of History.

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