Our names

20:54 min | 2021

This film features a narration of the chapter Mer Anounneru [Our Names], from the book Mer Ayt Goghmeru [Where We Come From] by Mgrdich Margosian.


The book consists of short stories that describe life in the author’s native city, Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd, mostly in the 1940s and 1950s. By this time, the city’s once-large Armenian population, which enjoyed a prosperous and thriving life, had disappeared. Only a few traces remained of its rich history. A small Armenian community had survived and still lived in the city. Margosian brings this community back to life with his gifted storytelling and fine wit.


The film is intended to revive what Margosian witnessed and experienced in Diyarbakir. It features numerous photographs depicting life in the Ottoman Empire, particularly the life of Ottoman Armenians. In this way, the film creates a bridge between Margosian’s Diyarbakir and the older, more vibrant life of Diyarbakir Armenians.


The voice of Arsinee Khanjian, the narrator, gives the film a unique and symbolic quality. Her ancestors, too, hailed from Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd, and continued to speak its dialect in Lebanon and in other countries that offered them refuge after surviving a genocide. The dialect of Diyarbakir, heard from Arsinee’s lips, still resonates in Canada, where she lives, and across the Diaspora, among the descendants of Diyarbakir Armenians.

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© Silvina Der Meguerditchian