Can you imagine sitting down with your great-grandparents and hearing their personal stories of survival in the midst of intense violence, loss or migration? The Zoryan Institute’s Armenian Genocide Oral History collection is a window into the childhood of our ancestors. Interacting with oral histories is a unique and powerful way to understand how people lived and how they navigated the world around them.

In 1983, the Zoryan Institute recognized the uniqueness of these firsthand experiences for connecting future generations of Armenians to the experiences of those who came before them. Spurred on by the reality that the population of Armenian genocide survivors was dwindling, Zoryan embarked on an oral history project that recorded, collected and preserved thousands of hours of testimony. Now, the Zoryan Institute is taking the preservation of these stories one step further, to transform them into new digital resources that will not only raise awareness but to inform and educate future generations.

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, we know that many people around the world will not be able to partake in Armenian Genocide commemoration activities on April 24th.  As a result, throughout the month of April, the Institute will be bringing a special feature to its social media platforms and website to share the stories of Armenian Genocide survivors through the Institute Oral History collection. This series will share exclusive clips from these oral history testimonies that allow us to hear from survivors as they share their lived experiences from before, during, and after the genocide.

We encourage you to watch this unique series, “Clips from the Collection” by visiting the Zoryan Institute webpage and our social media platforms. For a sneak preview of what to expect from the collection, please click on the video below.