This study started with a critical realization that, when various places around the world were hosting 100th anniversary events to commemorate the historical pain of the Armenian genocide that was perpetrated by Turkey in 1915, people in Korea hardly ...
This study started with a critical realization that, when various places around the world were hosting 100th anniversary events to commemorate the historical pain of the Armenian genocide that was perpetrated by Turkey in 1915, people in Korea hardly paid attention to these historical and cultural events. Such indifference may have been due to the fact that Armenia, which is located in the Caucasus region, is not a country that is well known to us. However, the history of Armenia, which shares a border with Georgia on the north, Azerbaijan to the east, Iran to the south, and Turkey to the west, has many similarities with the history of our people, who have had to ceaselessly endure the suffering caused by being surrounded by world powers, as destiny located us at a crossroads for powerful invaders. Another reason why we should feel more of a sense of déjà vu regarding the Armenian genocide is because of the perpetrator Turkey’s attitude. Just as Turkey has tenaciously denied this historical fact while evading responsibility up until now, even after 100 years, we are also confronted with a Japan that does not sincerely regret its past, even now in the 21stcentury.
Based on such perceptions of history, this study considered ways in which the Armenian genocide appeared as the main theme of films. Primarily shedding light on the historical background that led to the mass genocide, this study used the historical background as a basis to analyze artistic reproductions of the “collective memory” of trauma in the consciousness and unconsciousness of Armenians. Out of the films that use the Armenian genocide as the main theme or as a temporal or spatial setting, the study especially highlighted films in which the genocide formed the historical or ideological motive for the production of the film, films that were made by directors of the Armenian Diaspora who possessed an ethnic Armenian identity, and films that experimented with the different visual techniques of documentary and art films from an aesthetic perspective.
The ways in which Armenians left a visual record of the harsh memory of genocide and produced “films of memory and healing,” from a desire to heal their own people have great implications for us Koreans, who have still yet to receive a heartfelt apology towards the victims of sexual slavery by the Japanese military, nor even the whole truth of the matter, even after 70 years since our liberation. The Armenian Genocide and the ways in which Armenians have examined this issue through the art of memory called film can serve as a guide for the types of artistic records we could leave behind as we heal our own historical trauma.