Based on the book Infidel Quarter by Mıgırdiç Margosyan, this film essay by Berlin-based artist Silvina Der-Meguerditchian revives what the author witnessed and experienced during his childhood in Diyarbakır, mostly in the 1940s and 1950s. The film features numerous photographs depicting the life of Ottoman Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, creating a bridge between Margosyan’s Diyarbakır and the older, more vibrant life of Diyarbakır’s Armenians. Narrated by actress Arsinée Khanjian, whose ancestors also hailed from this city, the film also invokes the dialect of Diyarbakır, which continues to resonate today across the diaspora, among the descendants of Diyarbakır Armenians.

The event will include a screening of Our Names and a conversation between Silvina Der-Meguerditchian, Karen Jallatyan and Arsinée Khanjian, moderated by Banu Karaca. Discussing the challenges and opportunities in memory work in the arts, they will think about the ways in which video art, theater and audiovisual mediums can create new ways to perceive literature and literary works.

The film was made with the support of Gulbenkian Foundation, Tarabya Alumni Program and the Goethe Institut.

The event will be in English and broadcasted live on Yesayan Salonu Youtube channel.


Silvina Der-Meguerditchian

Was born in Buenos Aires and lives in Berlin. The focus of her artistic exploration are memory and archives. She is the artistic director of the Houshamadyan project, a multimedia memory book for Armenian Ottoman history. Der-Meguerditchian was a fellow at the Tarabya Academy of Culture in 2014/15. In the summer of 2015, she participated in Armenity, the Armenian pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, which was awarded the Golden Lion for the best national representation. In the fall of 2015, she curated the exhibition “Grandchildren, new geographies of belonging” in Istanbul. Since 2014, she has been working with “Women mobilizing memory,” an international group of artists, writers, museologists, social activists, and memory and memorial scholars. In 2020, her film “The Wishing Tree” was awarded a Special Mention at the Sharjah Film Platform. Her first personal catalog with VFMK (Verlag für Moderne Kunst) was published in January 2021.

Arsinée Khanjian

She is an actress born in Beirut and she has lived in Canada since 1975. She studied political science in Toronto and has worked in numerous films with her husband, filmmaker Atom Egoyan. She has appeared in several awarded movies (including The House of Larks and Ararat) and directed her own films and theatre pieces. In 2006 she received the Genie Award for best leading actress for the film Ararat. Guest of honour, one of her last appearances had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival 2019.

Banu Karaca

Works at the intersection of political anthropology and critical theory, art and aesthetics, nationalism and cultural policy, museum and feminist memory studies. She holds a PhD from the Graduate Center, The City University of New York. Her recent publications interrogate freedom of expression in the arts, the visualization of gendered memories of war and political violence, visual literacy, and restitution. She is the author of The National Frame: Art and State Violence in Turkey and Germany (Fordham University Press, 2021), and co-editor of Women Mobilizing Memory (Columbia University Press, 2019).

Karen Jallatyan

Obtained a PhD in Comparative Literature from University of California, Irvine in 2019. His dissertation analyzes the works of the filmmaker Gariné Torossian and writers Vahé Oshagan (1922-2000) and Krikor Beledian (1945-), arguing that each in their own way paves the way for Armenian diasporic becoming. During the 2019-2020 Academic Year, Dr. Jallatyan was a Manoogian Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Armenian Studies in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. For the past year, he has been teaching at the Department of Armenian Studies in Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest. Dr. Jallatyan’s research, while focusing specifically on Vahé Oshagan, also looks broadly into diaspora Armenian artistic production by situating it within ongoing critical theoretical debates.