USC’s Armenian Student Association and Shoah Foundation Student Association (SFISA) are teaming up to produce an on-campus commemoration event for the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Thursday at noon, showcasing Armenian culture and history.
The event will be held in front of Tommy Trojan on the University of Southern California campus, and is free and open to the public. From noon to 1 p.m., rock band Viza, Armenian folk band Armenian Public Radio and rapper R-Mean will perform and three speakers will give remarks. Nerses Aposhian, public communications coordinator for the Armenian Student Association, will discuss the importance of commemorating the Armenian Genocide, RJ Manuelian, attorney, will speak about his grandparents’ experiences during the genocide and moving forward, and Stephen Smith, USC Shoah Foundation executive director, will speak about testimony and memory. “
From 1 to 2 p.m., light refreshments will be served and artworks by Armenian artists Ani Kolangian, Nare Mnatsakanyan, Tamara Shahmoradian, Arpine Shakhbandaryan and Shogher Baghdoud-Tilkian will be on display.
Aposhian said the goal of the event is not just to commemorate the genocide, but also to share Armenian culture with students and the public. It’s been 99 years since the genocide and Armenians have grown tremendously as a people since then, he said.
“We want to celebrate our culture and educate people about who Armenians actually are,” he said. “We hope to reach a large audience, not just USC and the Armenian community. We want people to keep asking questions about our culture and history.”