Winslow Martin

ARS Chapter Hosts Photographer Winslow Martin’s ‘Forced Out’ to Raise Funds for Artsakh Refugees

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LEXINGTON, Mass.  — The historic Depot in Lexington Center was filled to capacity on February 9 as the Lowell Lousintak Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Chapter hosted “Forced Out: Refugees from Artsakh in Armenia,” by Winslow Martin. It was a heartfelt evening of storytelling, photography, music, and poetry – all to benefit the displaced Armenians of Artsakh.

Before the official program began, guests were greeted by Martin during the cocktail reception, which set the tone for the evening, along with music provided by Datev Gevorkian on oud. Lowell Lousintak ARS Chair and Master of Ceremonies Sona Gevorkian talked about the mission of the ARS and the accomplishments of the Lowell chapter, which is one of the oldest chapters in the US, dating back to 1915.

Teni Apelian of Zulal singing Sareree Hoveen Mernem accompanied by Datev Gevorkian on oud

Easing into Martin’s photo presentation, Teni Apelian, of the acapella trio, Zulal, accompanied by Datev Gevorkian on oud, sang a touching rendition of Sareree Hoveen Mernem. This set the stage for Martin to captivate his audience with his amazing storytelling skills, photographs and his unwavering love for the Armenian people over the past 25 years. As a documentarian, Martin’s photographs were brought to life with stories of survival, sorrow, and hope of the people of Artsakh. His highlights were not only from the recent evacuation of 120,000 Armenians from Artsakh, but also from the war of 2020 and the relationships he made with the people of Artsakh and Armenia.

A poetry reading of “Akh Eem Artsakh, Akh Mer Artsakh” written by Varak Ghazarian, a diasporan Armenian from Los Angeles, who is currently living and studying in Armenia, was recited by Shakeh Dagdigan (Armenian) and Zarouhi Minassian Suggs (English). The poem was written days after the surrender in September of 2023 to express Ghazarian’s personal emotions of the loss of Artsakh.

Martin ended the evening with a final slide representing the ARS and all its work. In his own words, Martin is a self-proclaimed “Armenian by choice.” His most notable accomplishment to date was in the summer of 2023 when he compiled more than 140 of his photographs and had an exhibit at the National History Museum in Yerevan, depicting the daily lives of Armenians. He is the first living, solo artist, and non-Armenian to have the honor of a retrospective exhibition at the legendary History Museum of Armenia.

The chapter donated all the proceeds to the displaced families of Artsakh.

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