Il faut que les braises de Constantinople s’envolent jusqu’en Europe.

2020 - in progress
With the support of La Fondation des Artistes and Centre National des Arts Plastiques.


(Work in progress)

My grandfather Haig arrived in France in the 20s and died without telling the story of his life in Ottoman times, in Kayseri then Constantinople. Before he died, he gave a novel to his children, Un poignard dans ce jardin by Vahé Katcha, in which he slipped a note telling them how his family survived the genocide, and how a particular passage of the book reminded him of this moment. Giving this book was to him a way to tell his experience, but also to share his vision of Constantinople.

Following the thread of genealogical and historic research, I wander in Istanbul and Talas, Anatolia, looking for my family house and village, and portraying Armenians of Turkey today, drawing links between past and present. Showing the continuation from the genocide under the Young Turks to modern turkish republic established by Atatürk, the project aims to show the consequences of a state denial of genocide: an “elephant in the room” on the scale of a society. The genocide denial is one of the founding stone of a national myth, along with the silence around other massacres and oppressions, that created a distorted reality about national identity. What are the consequences of silence? How to photograph what have been destroyed, razed and hidden? What is left is a few people who still have the courage to talk despite the threats and the danger, and a bizarre and uncomfortable atmosphere in everyday life, where a dark veil seperates us from reality, in every little detail.

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