Narratives of "Home"
Researcher name:
Ayşenur Korkmaz
Robert J. Katz Research Fellow in Genocide Studies
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As part of her larger dissertation project on post-genocide articulations of the Armenian homeland (Yergir) through materiality and rituals, Ayşenur Korkmaz researched narratives and conceptions of home among Armenian genocide survivors who fled to the south Caucasus during the Armenian genocide. 

Although around 300,000 Ottoman Armenians fled to the south Caucasus during the Armenian genocide, their experience of refugeedom and their conceptions of home remain largely overlooked in the scholarly research. 

Korkmaz explored understandings of “Yergir,” or homeland, among survivors and their descendants. Considering that survivors themselves are no longer living, Korkmaz consulted VHA testimonies to examine their narratives about home. Korkmaz realized the advantages offered by the collection of Armenian genocide testimonies, as she discovered a wealth of material on survivor experiences in Armenia, which also enabled her to compare experiences of survivors in Armenia with those in diaspora. After examining survivors’ narratives in the Visual History Archive, Korkmaz discovered that they confirm the existing scholarly findings about survivors’ experiences of refugeedom, especially in terms of experiences of famine, epidemics, child abandonment, escape routes, and refugees’ participation in Armenian paramilitary units.