Jacopo Santini, Co-Director of the MFA in Photography program at SACI, undertakes Armenia 301, a photographic project exploring the people and places of Metz Yegern and supported by the SACI Faculty Professional Development Fund.
Armenia 301, a project by Jacopo Santini, Co-Director of the MFA in Photography program at SACI, examines Metz Yegern, or “the great sorrow,” the first genocide of the 20th century that, between 1915 and 1918, took the lives of approximately 1,500,000 Armenians living in what is currently Eastern Anatolia. The project was featured in the 2018 winter issue of FUL Magazine.
301 BC is the year when, according to tradition, Armenia made Christianity the national religion. 301 is also the article of the Turkish penal code that punishes with imprisonment any offense to Turkish identity. The provision has been used often and repeatedly to punish all forms of dissent and, in particular, to silence the mention of what every Turkish government has denied throughout the last 100 years: Metz Yegern.
Thanks to a grant from the SACI Faculty Professional Development Fund, an annual fund providing financial support to faculty members who wish to develop their professional activity in the arts and academic fields, Jacopo was able to begin a project observing the results of this event. In the summer of 2018, he traveled to Armenia and photographed the places and people of the area, hearing their stories and piecing together the lasting memories of this historic occurrence. Because of the ongoing support of a private patron actively involved in promoting and preserving the memory of Metz Yegern, Jacopo will have the opportunity to continue pursuing the project throughout Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon through 2021. By visiting and photographing these people and places, his images look to relate today’s Armenia with the part it has lost (which is now called Eastern Anatolia).
I will try to talk to anyone willing to share their memories with me in Armenia and Turkey, where the younger generations have a growing desire to face the historical truth. The purpose is to collect memories, words, and images and to bear witness to the present as a faint, but still alive, reflection of the past. It won’t be an investigation, whose results are already available and indisputable, but a testimony. - Jacopo Santini
History can often be told by observing it as reflected in the eyes of those who have survived [...]
- Jacopo Santini
Read the full article in FUL Magazine.
Learn more about the MFA in Photography program at SACI.