Nigol Bezjian

Nigol was born in 1955 in Aleppo, Syria. Lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon.

Starting from historical photographs -collected by Anahid Astoyan in her book “Armenians in the Ottoman Army”-
Bezjian invokes the erased memory of forced mass deportation, annihilation and genocide. The project centers on
thousands of Armenians who dutifully fought on the side of the falling empire on the Western front of Çanakkale and
Gallipoli, but have been deliberately ignored (like many other members of minority groups under the Ottoman rule)
despite their service in various capacities: from soldiers to high-ranking military and medical officers. The installation
also includes Bezjian’s movie verging between documentary and fiction. It features Sarkis, the ghost of an Armenian
soldier in the Ottoman army, who comes back to contemporary Çanakkale after one hundred years and engages in
a series of informal dialogues with its citizens. Mingling among them, Sarkis collects the fragile traces of the local
awareness about those aspects of the city’s past that are not only inseparable from the First World War and the Battle
of Gallipoli (1915-16) but have remained forcefully obscure throughout the last century.