"Witnessing After the Witnessing" exhibition
13-30 April 2015
Square in front of Kościół Garnizonowy p.w. Św. Elżbiety [The St. Elisabeth Church of Garrison], 1 Św. Elżbiety St.
The exhibition includes historical documents as well as modern photographs and materials gathered by the members of Teatr ZAR during their expeditions to Armenia, Israel, and Turkey. It charts the “small” history of the Armenian people – one excluded from the great history of Europe – as recorded in rare photographs and documents, as well as the history of the “silent gaze” of modern Europeans.
Armenian music, architecture and daily life in Anatolia are contrasted with the events of the turn of the 20th century which provided the background for the “invention of genocide” by the Young Turkish government. The exhibition is structured around the story of the 1915 extermination of Armenians shown in the context of official narratives that propagate lies and promote exclusion from historical discourse and cultural transmission. The three figures portrayed in the exhibition become emblems of reflection on genocide: Komitas Vardapet, a monk, musician and musicologist, one of the leading lights of Armenian culture, near victim of the 1915 arrests; Armin Theophil Wegner, a German officer in the Turkish army, whose photographs document the Armenian Genocide in Anatolia; and Rafał Lemkin, a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent who coined the word “genocide” and prepared a draft Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by UN in 1948.
Consultants: Ara Sarafian and Aram Kerovpyan
Graphic design: Barbara Kaczmarek