Sose Mayrig (1868-1953), born Sose Vardanian, was an Armenian fedayee from the region of Sassoun. The fedayees were militias formed by Armenian civilians who voluntarily left their families in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to form self-defense units in reaction to the mass murder of Armenians and the pillage of Armenian villages by Ottoman forces. They had the objective of achieving autonomy for Armenians or independence, depending on their ideologies. The term fedayee is of Arabic origin and means “those who sacrifice themselves”. It is widely used across the Middle East to refer to freedom fighters.
In April last year, Kamee Abrahamian (@29cents) contacted me on Instagram to ask me to collaborate on a project: an illustrated collection of proverbs from Armenian women. Fast forward one year, a lot of research and dedication: our little baby is finally here with 32 pages, 13 original illustrations, and 14 quotes from 13 Armenian women such as Zabel Yesayan, Srpuhi Dussap and Shushanik Kurghinian. The little book also contains a foreword and a list of sources so you can dig deeper and learn more about the women we featured!
“We put this together because as feminists and Armenians living in the diaspora, we often find ourselves searching (digging) and yearning (desperately) to hear/feel the voices of women in our ancestry and community – not only when our struggles become unbearable, but also when we want to celebrate ourselves, our powers, our-making-of-the-impossible-possible.”
Illustrations you will find in the book:
P.S.: This project is an ever-evolving, collaborative endeavor. We welcome thoughts, suggestions, and any form of support you are able to offer – so please write to us!
In the past few years, I have grown really interested in the topic of psychological abuse and based on personal observations and things that I have read and discussed, I wanted to share what I have learnt. Now I am only one individual interested in the topic and I would like to raise awareness about this issue, but I am not an authority on the subject. I invite you to complement your reading with other sources.
Domestic violence is a huge issue in Armenia and the diaspora, but we often think that domestic violence is visible and obvious but the truth is violence is not necessarily always physical and easy to identify. Violence can also be psychological and while it might not necessarily lead to physical abuse, it will still be extremely traumatic for the victim hence why it is important to learn about it to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and potentially to identify red flags that might indeed lead to physical abuse.
During her visit to Moscow on 24 July last, Armenian First Lady Anna Hakobyan announced the launch of an initiative entitled “Women for Peace”, aimed at promoting the involvement of women of all sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the peaceful and non-violent settlement of the dispute. Her statement, together with the initiative, mark a shift in the way womanhood and motherhood are being discussed in the context of the conflict, as well as an important shift in the way members of the other party, Azeris, and in particular the Azeri youth, are being labelled and perceived. These shifts in discourse which take place in the context of the democratization of Armenia and the ongoing fight to improve women’s participation and representation in politics and society at large have been welcomed by peace activists and could have a positive impact both on the status of women and the pacific resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
From 1940 to 1944, in the context of the Second World War, France was occupied by Nazi Germans. While the French state, through the Vichy regime, and some informal groups of individuals collaborated with the Nazis, many others set up movements for the liberation of France and the fight against fascism. These movements became known as the French Resistance. Among the fighters of the French Resistance were a number of Armenian immigrant men and women. While some of them, like Missak Manouchian and his wife Mélinée, have gained national recognition in France, others, like Louise Aslanian are less known.