Wednesday, April 24, marks the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the systematic murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the forces of the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923. In tribute, student groups, the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA and other campus partners are sponsoring a series of performances, lectures, film screenings and other events over the coming days to recognize and explore that historical tragedy and to celebrate Armenian heritage.

Returning this year is the Armenian Students’ Association at UCLA’s annual Coachellian cultural show, a community event featuring Armenian music, dance, comedy, art and more. Performers include students, alumni and members of Los Angeles County’s Armenian American community — the largest population of Armenians in the world outside Armenia.

Faculty and fellows from UCLA, including Anna Aleksanyan, researcher in the Promise Armenian Institute’s Armenian Genocide Research Program, and Professor Movses Pogossian of UCLA’s Armenian Music Program are featured during the week’s events.

Visiting speakers and participants in this year’s events include Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Peter Balakian and Armenian Film Society founder Armen Karaoghlanian.

All commemorative events are free and open to the public:

  • Wednesday, April 17, 7:30 p.m. | Hammer Museum at UCLA
    Intersections: Armenian Classical Composers
    The UCLA Armenian Music Program, Hammer Museum at UCLA and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music invite listeners to an evening celebrating the rich and diverse intersections of Armenian musical heritage with performances of works by Armenian classical composers in Western and Ottoman music traditions. The concert will feature guest musicians as well as the UCLA VEM Ensemble under the directorship of violinist and UCLA music professor Movses Pogossian.
  • Thursday, April 18, 6 p.m. | Fowler Amphitheater
    Coachellian: An evening of Armenian cultural performances organized by the Armenian Students’ Association.
    UCLA’s long-held tradition of “Armenian Coachella” is back, promising an evening of Armenian music, dance, comedy, art and more. Performers include current students, alumni and members across the local Armenian community. The event will feature St. Peter Armenian Church’s children’s choir, Ararat Dance & Song Folk Group, drum and duduk freestyle by Magic Handz and Davit Sahakyan, and many more.
  • Thursday, April 18, 7 p.m. | Mong Learning Center (Engineering VI building)
    “Imagining the Past: Atrocity, Trauma and the Armenian Genocide” 
    As part of its Distinguished Lecture Series, the Promise Armenian Institute will host Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Peter Balakian in a discussion about navigating threads of Armenian history to create an inventive body of literature. He will explore how his poetry and memoir writing have moved across generations in engaging with the Armenian Genocide — and how his family members and ancestors impacted by the events have provided a grounding for his work.
  • Monday, April 22, 7 p.m. | Gonda (Goldschmied) Neuroscience and Genetics Research Center, Room 132
    Armenian Film Society screening: “The Peace of All”
    The Armenian Students’ Association will present a film screening of “The Peace of All,” a feature-length documentary about the Armenian people of Nagorno Karabakh, also known as Artsakh. The film examines the state’s history, from the onset of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 to the 2020 armed conflict that changed the region’s geography. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Armenian Film Society founder Armen Karaoghlanian and the film’s director, Gary Ganian.
  • Wednesday, April 24, 7 p.m. | Royce Hall
    Armenian Genocide Rememberance Day vigil
    The Armenian Students’ Association, in partnership with the University of Southern California Armenian Students’ Association, will hold a candlelit vigil in front of Royce Hall with speakers and special guests to commemorate the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
  • Monday, April 29, 6 p.m. | Bunche Hall, Room 10383
    “The Right of the First Night and Sexual Violence against Armenian Women in the 19th Century”
    The Armenian Genocide Research Program at UCLA will present a lecture by its fellow, Anna Aleksanyan, whose work explores the gendered aspects of the Armenian genocide and the experiences of its victimized females. The research program, established within the Promise Armenian Institute in early 2022, engages in research and scholarly activities pertaining to the study of the Armenian Genocide.