We come from there

We come from there from Silvina Der-Meguerditchian on Vimeo.

The film We come from there (from spanish Venimos de Ahi)is a very personal document on the still existing and felt closeness and ambivalence to the Turkish language and culture among Armenian migrants of the 2nd and 3rd generations: The artist gives the word to her own family, which for the most part has lived in Argentina since their expulsion from their homeland. The introductory part of the film work shows an open conversation between Silvina and her parents, aunts and cousins. They discuss the traces which the Turkish language has left behind even today in their own language or vocabulary. Above all, it's the memories of their childhood, of the conversations between parents and grandparents, which are connected to theTurkish. Almost all of them speak a few snippets of Turkish. This astonishing intimacy to a culture nonetheless overlaid by silence and prohibition has something eerie about it; it touches and unsettles at the same time. And yet it appears to be unavoidable: It`s natural, 'we come from there'. In the second part of the film, the artist's mother speaks with obvious delight about her memories of the silenced 'Turkish part' which is breathed new life by her stories. She reports how the adults would often speak Turkish in everyday life among one another. It was simply their language. In any case, the children were forbidden to speak this language. This made the 'Turkish' into something attractive and desirable for the children, yet at the same time a menacing secret, a taboo. Nevertheless, the Turkish language found its way into the children's memory and vocabulary. Silvina's mother especially remembers the numerous sayings whose pithy life and household rules she still knows by heart. They remained an element of the own cultural identity. At the same time, they point to the links between the so-called 'Turkish' and 'Armenian' culture: the Turkish sayings often have Armenian origins, became translated, and were widely disseminated primarily in the Turkish language. They let one become visible as part of the other, and vice versa; they appear in this context as little gestures on the way to conciliation. Barbara Höffer

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