WATERTOWN — “Who we are… Our Armenian Identity,” Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives 2017 calendar brings to life a theme that is bubbling up in private conversations as well as in the broader community.
The calendar speaks to the experience of various identities within one culture. Throughout recent Armenian history, the “homeland” has been in multiple places — in the Ottoman, Persian, and Russian empires — and therefore Armenians have naturally balanced their personae with a mix of Armenian and dominant cultures. For equally as long, Armenians, being merchants and traders, have traveled and settled throughout the world, establishing communities that have their own combination of mixed identities.
The calendar also speaks of what we share in common, sustained through time, over countless generations. These shared customs and values are familiar regardless of what part of the world our families trace back to.
This Project SAVE Archives calendar is dedicated to longtime board member Tom Vartabedian. It is a tribute to his memory, as the calendar’s stories and photographs speak to his life as a journalist, photographer, and community activist.
“Who we are…Our Armenian Identity” is Project SAVE’s 30th calendar. The first was published in 1985. Enclosed with each calendar is a list of all 30 previous calendars. Most are still available for purchase at reduced prices. Each offers a unique view of social history based on a theme, for example: “Armenian Dancing” (2011), “Armenians in the Military” (2002), “Armenian Weddings” (1996) and “Armenian Education” (1999.)
As an archive, the work is a concerted effort to responsibly and professionally collect historical documents. Photographs, when coupled with information provided by donors reveal much about social history. Our annual calendar is a way we share and promote the photographs and their stories we have collected, documented and preserved.