Located at 1336 G Street NW, Washington, D.C, is said to be open in 2011. This museum objective is to educated those about the loss of life in Armenian culture in the early 20th century and the "failure" of the international community to respond. This concept was brought up in one of my classes and it really made me think about the idea of memorialization and "chosen traumas", idea discussed by a USIP report and Vamik Volkan. The basic concepts are that each group selects a chosen trauma, or event of their past that links them and can be used countless times in the future as a defense for their mis-treatment or struggle. The thing about a chosen trauma, is that it is perceived as a trauma by the group selecting it, but it might not be so. For instance, teh Holocaust is the chosen trauma of teh Jewish culture and many recognize it as so; however, for the Armenians there is still some debate. The Armenians clearly view the acts of the Turkish government towards them in 1915 as unforgivable and classify it as genocide, which is why there is more than 135 memorials in 25 countires and now this museum coming to D.C. But the Turks do not see it as such. And even the American government at the time failed to see the magnitude. So this controversy plays out not only in coming to a bottom line, but also in the memorialization of an event.The Armenians who want to never forget or be put on the back burner again are asking for such institutions, but the Turks protest as such, expecailly when such language as genocide is displayed in the name. So really it is argued that memorialization is part of the healing process to move on, but does it do more harm than good. IN this conflict that seems to be never ending for Armenians and Turks, talks have not ben amde about an apology or any compensation, etc, because there has been no steps of transformation or econciliation. The Armeninas continue to drive home their point of genocide and refuse to back down or acknowledge their actions previous to said trauma, while the Turks refuse to communicate while such heavy language is being good. In essence then this museum is not just a "healing" institution for Armenians, but also has the potential to reheat the tensions and add fuel to the fire, providing another outlet for both sides to bring up the past.
I find it ineteresting that something that is meant to be used to transform conflict can also have such negative effects.
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About the reviewer
My name is Laura, I am currently living in D.C. and attend American University. I am originally from Staten Island, NY. I am majoring in International Relations with a focus in Peace and Conflict Resolution. … more