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Ravished Armenia (1919): Bearing witness in the age of mechanical reproduction. Some thoughts on a film-ordeal

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Published in Chabot, Joceline ; Godin, Richard ; Kappler, Stefanie ; Kasparian, Sylvia. Mass Media and the Genocide of the Armenians : One Hundred Years of Uncertain Representation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Mcmillan. 2015, p. 36-50
Collection Palgrave Studies in the History of Genocide
Abstract "Ravished Armenia, also entitled Auction of Souls, is the only film of its kind, being based on the testimony of the young Aurora Mardiganian (real name Archaluys Mardigian), who survived the Armenian genocide and exiled in the United States on 1917, aged sixteen. This 1919 silent film is based on a script written by the editors of Aurora’s memoirs. Produced by a pioneer of American cinema, on behalf of the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, it was shot in record time and featured a star cast, Hollywood sets and hundreds of extras. At the top of the bill was Aurora herself. Initially presented as a cinematografic work with a charitable objective, Ravished Armenia was above all a blockbuster, designed to create a commercial sensation amidst which the original witness, dispossessed of her own story, would be lost. The few remaining images/traces (only one reel, as the others had misteriously disappeared) of what was the first cinematografic reconstitution of a genocide narrated by a female survivor testify in themselves to two things: both to the Catastrophe, through the screening of the body-as-witness in the form of Aurora Mardiganian, the ‘Joan of Arc of Armenia’, here playing herself; and to the value of the Benjaminian approach to history in the age of mechanical reproduction and cinema as a potential mode of ‘historical awakening’. At once a simulacrum and a revelation". Sévane Garibian
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ISBN: 9781137564016
Note Garibian, Sévane, Ravished Armenia (1919): Bearing witness in the age of mechanical reproduction. Some thoughts on a film-ordeal, 2015, Palgrave Mcmillan reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/mass-media-and-the-genocide-of-the-armenians-joceline-chabot/?isb=9781137564016
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GARIBIAN, Sévane. Ravished Armenia (1919): Bearing witness in the age of mechanical reproduction. Some thoughts on a film-ordeal. In: Chabot, Joceline ; Godin, Richard ; Kappler, Stefanie ; Kasparian, Sylvia (Ed.). Mass Media and the Genocide of the Armenians : One Hundred Years of Uncertain Representation. Basingstoke : Palgrave Mcmillan, 2015. p. 36-50. (Palgrave Studies in the History of Genocide) https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:77313

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Deposited on : 2015-11-16

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