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We are an international graphic poster competition commemorating the Armenian Genocide through series of designs, published and distributed in countries which have no legislation on Armenian Genocide. It's a part of a collective effort to demonstrate the impact of art, as one of the most powerful tools for the portrayal of historical events and the shaping of public opinion for the main purpose of spreading awareness and promoting greater international cooperation and involvement in the cause of Armenian Genocide recognition.

This is our chance to make ourselves heard, develop a project which would leave a mark in people's minds. It is not directed against Turkish people, it is there to tell them the true story of Armenian Genocide. We hope that it will also stimulate the cultivation and encouragement of Armenian contemporary graphic design and since posters are also informative- genocide education around the world.

"Still waiting for the fair trial"
Design & Photography by Ruben Malayan

Our Mission

With the passage of time and the diminution in numbers of persons with 'living memory' of the Genocide, comes the risk that that the power of a visual basis for understanding will fade. Access to documentation, photographs, and symbols of remembrance are not always within the easy grasp of those who do not actively seek out information about their historical heritage. It is certainly neither a question of 'easy access' for those not ethnically-motivated to learn more; in the malevolent words of Adolf Hitler, "who, after all, remembers the Armenians?"

Countless Armenian artists, musicians, and intellectuals suffered and perished in unimaginable ways, in the first single, pre-meditated mass extermination and violation of basic human rights of the 20th century. They, along with hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were wiped off the face of a nation. They, who committed no crime other than having had the wrong religion in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Armenian Christians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

With their passing has followed decades of frustration, unacknowledged anger, and for some - a slow but steady disintegration of the 'pictures in our heads', inevitable with the passage of time. For others, a tremendous sense of fortitude has emerged - in the survivors and descendants of families in Diaspora and in Armenia.

Thanks to the admirable work of Armenian intellectuals, policy-makers, religious leaders, and above all - families - the history of the annihilation of 1.5 million Christians is not forgotten. That said, there has never been a better time to reach out, to pool the extraordinary young talents and passion of the descendants of survivors from across the world, and to make a peaceful, powerful statement.

This is a call for support of a cause undertaken by a generation of young Armenians who choose not to let the images of the suffering of ancestors fade. An open international competition has been launched, in the form of a 'call to artists' around the world (Armenian and non-Armenian), to contribute a work that they think best depicts an image of the story of the Armenian Genocide. It can reflect a symbol of love, of suffering, of remembrance - anything that to an artist's eye and mind is appropriate given this historical yet politically-motivated theme. This depiction can also take any form - photographs, drawn or painted pieces, digital designs - any piece that can be presented in poster form. When chosen, the selected poster will be reproduced and distributed internationally as representation of the beacon of faith that Armenians must protect - that the truths of their history will finally be acknowledged.

"Ottoman History"
Design by Yervant Herian

"Popular Method"
Design by Ruben Malayan

Contributors to our projects include Walter Jansen, Ruben Malayan, Karen Vrtanesyan, Tina Bastajian, Vanig Torikian, Levon Parian, Sophia Gasparyan, Khaguig Dakarian, Aram Vardanyan, Yervant Herian, Arthur Kalpakch, Bedros Kahvejian, Vahe Gkoumousian, Museum of Amnesia, Serj Navasardyan, Aram Shahinyan, Vahan Stepanyan, Edgar Barseghyan, Sedrak Mkrtchyan, Pablo Gostanian, Armen Saboonchian, Alexander Kranz, Maria Victoria Mustillo, Aslanian Arda, Var Amayakyan & Nshan Garabet Bedrossian. Currently we display only limited amount of work until our project goes through restructuring.

In April 2002 five winning posters were published and distributed across the walls of city of Amsterdam, Netherlands and sent to various locations around the world. You can see the photos here! You may also download high resolution archive images of the Genocide (courtesy Hay Dat, Jerusalem). Our project also made it into the documentary by Dutch filmmaker Maartje Nevejan. Read an article on Assen Genocide Memorial.


"The Dark Chain of Human History"
Design by Ruben Malayan
Published in Hebrew edition of Yair Auron's book - "Israel and the Armenian Genocide: Banality of Indifference" ( Open University Press, 2005 ) which summarizes and analyzes the positions of the Israeli government toward the massacres committed by the Turkish government against the Armenians during the First World War. Composed of ten chapters, the book opens new grounds for research on the Armenian Genocide and reveals the feelings and attitudes of Jews towards the Genocide.

"Deportation of and excesses against peaceful Armenians is increasing and from harrowing reports of eye witnesses [sic] it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a pretext of reprisal against rebellion."
Henry Morgenthau,
American Ambassador at Constantinople from 1913 to 1916

"Time is the fire in which we burn"
Design by Ruben Malayan

The Armenian Genocide was carried out by the "Young Turk" government of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916 (with subsidiaries to 1922-23). One and a half million Armenians were killed, out of a total of two and a half million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Most Armenians in America are children or grandchildren of the survivors, although there are still many survivors amongst us. Armenians all over the world commemorate this great tragedy on April 24, because it was on that day in 1915 when 300 Armenian leaders, writers, thinkers and professionals in Constantinople (present day Istanbul) were rounded up, deported and killed. Also on that day in Constantinople, 5,000 of the poorest Armenians were butchered in the streets and in their homes.

The Armenian Genocide was masterminded by the Central Committee of the Young Turk Party (Committee for Union and Progress [Ittihad ve Terakki Cemiyet, in Turkish]) which was dominated by Mehmed Talât [Pasha], Ismail Enver [Pasha], and Ahmed Djemal [Pasha]. They were a racist group whose ideology was articulated by Zia Gökalp, Dr. Mehmed Nazim, and Dr. Behaeddin Shakir. The Armenian Genocide was directed by a Special Organization (Teshkilati Mahsusa) set up by the Committee of Union and Progress, which created special "butcher battalions," made up of violent criminals released from prison.

"Syrian Desert"
Design by Ruben Malayan

Armenian churches and monasteries on the territory of Turkey were burned and some 2150 ruined in the beginning of XX century. According to UNESCO information for 1974, 464 of 913 Armenian buildings were wiped off the earth, 252 - ruined, 197 needs general repair. As for Azerbaijan, 21 Armenian buildings, among which churches, monasteries, chapels, Armenian cemeteries were destroyed and burned since 1998.

"Some wounds time never heals"

Design by Alexander Kranz

"Turkish Underground"
Design by Yervant Herian

Some righteous Ottoman officials such as Celal, governor of Aleppo; Mazhar, governor of Ankara; and Reshid, governor of Kastamonu, were dismissed for not complying with the extermination campaign. Any common Turks who protected Armenians were killed.

The Armenian Genocide occurred in a systematic fashion, which proves that it was directed by the Young Turk government. First the Armenians in the army were disarmed, placed into labor battalions, and then killed. Then the Armenian political and intellectual leaders were rounded up on April 24, 1915, and then killed. Finally, the remaining Armenians were called from their homes, told they would be relocated, and then marched off to concentration camps in the desert between Jerablus and Deir ez-Zor where they would starve and thirst to death in the burning sun.

On the march, often they would be denied food and water, and many were brutalized and killed by their "guards" or by "marauders." The authorities in Trebizond, on the Black Sea coast, did vary this routine: they loaded Armenians on barges and sank them out at sea.

The Turkish government today denies that there was an Armenian genocide and claims that Armenians were only removed from the eastern "war zone." The Armenian Genocide, however, occurred all over Anatolia [present-day Turkey], and not just in the so-called "war zone." Deportations and killings occurred in the west, in and around Ismid (Izmit) and Broussa (Bursa); in the center, in and around Angora (Ankara); in the south-west, in and around Konia (Konya) and Adana (which is near the Mediterranean Sea); in the central portion of Anatolia, in and around Diyarbekir (Diyarbakir), Harpout (Harput), Marash, Sivas (Sepastia), Shabin Kara-Hissar (?ebin Karahisar), and Ourfa (Urfa); and on the Black Sea coast, in and around Trebizond (Trabzon), all of which are not part of a war zone. Only Erzeroum, Bitlis, and Van in the east were in the war zone.

"Modus Operandi"
Design by Karen Vrtanesyan

"Absolut Denial"
Design by Ruben Malayan

"Soul of an artist"
Design by Sophia Gasparian

"State of Denial"
Design by Var Amayakyan

The Armenian Genocide was condemned at the time by representatives of the British, French, Russian, German, and Austrian governments—namely all the major Powers. The first three were foes of the Ottoman Empire, the latter two, allies of the Ottoman Empire. The United States, neutral towards the Ottoman Empire, also condemned the Armenian Genocide and was the chief spokesman in behalf of the Armenians.

The American people, via local Protestant missionaries, did the most to save the wretched remnants of the death marches, the orphaned children.

Despite Turkish denial, there is no doubt about the Armenian Genocide. For example, German ambassador Count von Wolff-Metternich, Turkey's ally in World War I, wrote his government in 1916 saying: "The Committee [of Union and Progress] demands the annihilation of the last remnants of the Armenians and the [Ottoman] government must bow to its demands."

German consuls stationed in Turkey, including Vice Consul Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richner of Erzerum [Erzurum] who was Adolf Hitler's chief political advisor in the 1920s, were eyewitnesses. Hitler said to his generals on the eve of sending his Death's Heads units into Poland, "Go, kill without mercy . . . who today remembers the annihilation of the Armenians."


"90 years, still alive"
Design by Maria Victoria Mustillo

Design by Pablo Gostanian

Only one Turkish government, that of Damad Ferit Pasha, has ever recognized the Armenian genocide. In fact, that Turkish government held war crimes trials and condemned to death the major leaders responsible.

The Turkish court concluded that the leaders of the Young Turk government were guilty of murder. "This fact has been proven and verified." It maintained that the genocidal scheme was carried out with as much secrecy as possible. That a public facade was maintained of "relocating" the Armenians. That they carried out the killing by a secret network. That the decision to eradicate the Armenians was not a hasty decision, but "the result of extensive and profound deliberations."

Ismail Enver Pasha, Ahmed Cemal Pasha, Mehmed Talât Bey, and a host of others were convicted by the Turkish court and condemned to death for "the extermination and destruction of the Armenians."

"Old Sins Cast Long Shadows"
Design by Ruben Malayan

"Armenians will never forget"
Design by Vahan Stepanyan

"Denial is killing them twice"
Design by Ruben Malayan


How to support this cause

This, like any other movement or initiative, has come from a single idea in the mind of single person. The realization of this initiative will be impossible without the collaboration and help from persons whose hearts and minds are touched by the importance of acknowledging all aspects of the Armenian historical legacy. Please do not hesitate to get involved and to support this first-of-its-kind cause - with photographical evidence, documentary evidence, institutional support, and intellectual feedback - anything that could have a bearing on the success of this campaign.

Above all, financial support is absolutely critical for the survival of this effort. Please help the mobilization of this unique project, so that it may be constructive in working in conjunction with existing efforts towards realizing the same goal.

Help this 'living' project to get off the ground and give to the world what thousands of words cannot and have not: a picture in our minds to remember. A picture that the world cannot help but see. A picture that makes each person who sees it feel the importance of Genocide recognition.


This project is initiative of : 15levels.com
All rights reserved 2015 © ArmenianGenocidePosters.org
No image on this website is allowed to be copied, altered or reproduced in any form, electronically or in print
Text courtesy Knights of Vartan Armenian Research Center
Last update: December 11, 2015 1:31 PM

If you wish to organize an exhibition of our posters or contribute a new design write to 15levels at gmail dot com