Saturday, March 8, 2008

Documentary photograher interested in Dark Tourism...

This building is the site of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (A-Bomb Dome) because it was the closest structure to withstand the 1945 nuclear attack (Photo by Julie Dermansky)

I first learned about the photographic work of artist Julie Dermansky in what is known as Dark Tourism from a feature article in the New York Times back in 2005. At the time she was visiting sites around the world for her project: Mankind’s Monuments to Barbaric Acts and Other Unusual Vacation Destinations.

She had a tragically long list of these sites from around the world, and I contacted Julie to be sure she was planning to visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on the day of April 24, when hundreds of thousands of citizens pay their respects to the victims of the 1915 genocide.

She was planning to go when funding and time allowed, but the project was put on hold when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and Julie was off to document the human and natural tragedy in New Orleans. I received periodic updates about her work from New Orleans, and she was in touch recently about her plan to go to Yerevan on April 24, 2008.

An immediate goal of the project is an exhibit at the American Institute of Architects in New York in September 2008, which she describes as a photographic survey of museums and monuments dealing with genocide and injustice.

If you’re in Armenia look up Julie when she’s there in April, and if you’re in the diaspora check out her work and give her your support!

Update: Here is an exclusive interview with Julie Dermansky in Hetq Online and Armenian Weekly. Click here to read the interview in French on