Under Stalin’s Sun Book Presentation at Project Save


WATERTOWN — Project Save’s “Conversations on Photography” series resumes on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m., with an online presentation of Suren Oganessian’s unique memoir, Under Stalin’s Sun: My Escape from a Siberian Gulag, which recounts his intense experience from Meghri to his brutal years in the gulags, and his harrowing escape and journey to the United States. Registration is required at projectsave.org.

From the 1930s-1950s Stalin’s gulag labor camps imprisoned more than 18 million people, including at least 40,000 Armenians. Under Stalin’s Sun is a rare first-hand account by one of the Armenian survivors of the gulag. It is possibly the only such memoir available in English (available now on Amazon and other online shops).

Ogannesian’s memoir was recently retranslated and republished by Raffi Meneshian, who is the founder of Pomegranate Music, an educator, and publisher. He is also Ogannessian’s grandson. Meneshian will present the book, along with photos of his grandfather, followed by a discussion moderated by Arto Vaun, executive director of Project Save.

According to Vaun, “The Armenian world has understandably been very focused on the tumultuous events of the past 30 years in Armenia. But we cannot fully understand post-Soviet Armenia without a deeper assessment and discussion of the Stalinist years, which continue to haunt both Armenia and parts of the diaspora.”

Launched in 2021, “Conversations on Photography” is an ongoing series by Project Save that promotes discussions about photography, social history, culture, and preservation. Past talks are available to watch on the Project Save website.

This is an online event and registration is required at projectsave.org. For more info: archives@projectsave.org.

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