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Armenia

Getting to know Armenia before you leave

In order to make the most of your stay in Armenia and capture its essence, it seems only appropriate to take some time to read a few reference books and watch some informative films before setting off on your trip.

Understanding Armenia

Getting to know Armenia means diving into the heart of a history that is marked by strength, identity and painful scars. In order to truly understand what gives the Armenian people their cultural identity, there are some essential reads.

For the first step, here are some references on the history of Armenia, literature for a more studious approach.

  • Simon Payaslian, The History of Armenia, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
  • Jacques de Morgan, The History of the Armenian People, from the Remotest Times to the Present Day, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.
  • Vahan M. Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, IndoEuropeanPublishing.com, 2014.
  • Raymond H. Kévorkian, The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History, I. B. Tauris, 2011.
  • Yves Ternon, The Armenians: History of a Genocide, Caravan books, 1990.
  • Michael M. Gunter, Armenian History and the Question of Genocide, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • Ronald Grigor Suny, "They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide, Princeton University Press, 2015.

Alongside these background readings, there are other publications focused on culture and the arts, which are of interest in getting to know Armenia.

  •  Jean-Michel Thierry, Armenian Art, Harry N. Abrams, 1989

  • The Wonders of Armenia, AREG publishing, 2011
  • The Armenians: Art, Culture and Religion , Giles, 2007

To complement these beautiful books, there are a few photographic collections that are also interesting.

  • Antoine Agoudijan, The Cry of Silence: Traces of An Armenian Memory, Flammarion
  • Antoine Agoudijan, Burning Eyes, Actes Sud, 2006
  • Scout TufankjianThere Is Only the Earth: Images from the Armenian Diaspora Project, Melcher Media, 2015.

Heritage in Armenia

Finally, for true immersion and a better understanding, there's nothing like getting into authentic Armenian literature and travelogues. Read with delight during your stay in Armenia.

  • Gostan Zarian, The Ship on the Mountain, Boston, 1943
  • Charles Downing, Armenian Folk-tales and Fables, Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Osip Mendalsam, Journey to Armenia, Redstone Press, 1989

Filmography

Building on a history that has scarred generations, Armenian films and films about Armenia have given rise to some exemplary creations, which offer an abrasive perspective on the culture and history of these people. There's nothing like a watching something to start getting to know modern Armenia.

The documentary "My Son Shall be Armenian", from 2004, portrays many emotions as it traces the journey of 6 Canadians in search of their origins and their ancestors. Some more examples include Journey to Armenia, Ararat, Vodka Lemon, The Lark Farm and the series We, The Seasons and Our Century by Artavazd Peleshyan.

Caroline Guibert
22 contributions
Updated 28 October 2015

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