Ruth Thomasian, a photograph archivist and historian, will be the keynote speaker at the annual 99th Armenian Genocide Commemoration which will be held in the House Chambers at the State Capitol on Saturday, April 26, starting at 11 a.m.
The announcement was made by State Representative Christopher Wright (D-Bristol), chairman of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration event.
“The April 26 ceremony will be held to remember our martyrs and honor our survivors,” Wright said in a press release from his office “We invite everyone to join us and following the commemoration event all participants are invited to gather in the Hall of the Flags for refreshments.”
For 39 years, Ruth Thomasian, a photo archivist and historian, has dedicated herself to saving the photographic heritage of the Armenian community as founder and executive director of Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives, Inc. During the 1970s, while pursuing a career as a theatrical costume designer in New York City, she became aware that visual material to research costumes for Armenian plays set in historic Armenia was extremely scarce.
Thomasian received her bachelor’s degree in history and education from AlbionCollege in Michigan, and a master’s degree in communications management from SimmonsCollege, Boston. She is a past president of the Photographic Historical Society of New England, former co-editor of the society’s New England Journal of Photographic History, and current board member. She is a member of the New England Archivists and the Society of American Archivists (SAA), and has participated with colleagues in workshop presentations for each organization.
In addition to the commemoration event, there will be an Armenian Heritage Day program honoring Genocide survivors and a flag raising open to the public on Thursday, April 24 in the North Lobby of the State Capitol from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The celebration will include traditional Armenian dishes, desserts and drinks.
For further information, call Ciro Zelaya at (860)240-8514
During the horrific period of the genocide, Wright’s press release said, between 1915 and 1923, over 1.5 million people had suffered and perished at the hand of the Turkish Government. Five hundred thousand others were driven from their homes into exile.