Rajak Ohanian, Alep 1915, Témoignages…

film directed by Vartan Ohanian
December 2023

Rajak Ohanian, Alep 1915, Témoignages…, film by Vartan Ohanian
This documentary from video, sound and photographic archives, addresses the work of Rajak Ohanian (1933-2023) through his most personal photographic series, Aleppo 1915, Testimonies…, initiated in 2005-2006 by a six-month stay in Aleppo, where his father, a survivor of the Armenian genocide, was taken into an orphanage.

Based on various interviews (radio and personal archives) recorded between 2011 and 2020, the artist's story runs through a retrospective montage of images taken at different times, from his first departure to Syria, through the OOBLIK Workshop during the production of the prints, until the exhibition at the Bullukian Foundation in 2015. Echoing the return to family and historical memory undertaken twenty years earlier by his father, Vartan Ohanian paints with this film an intimate portrait of the artistic approach of Rajak Ohanian and the cultural heritage transmitted over generations.
— Production, images, photographs and editing: Vartan Ohanian
— Audio extracts: Interview with Sylvie Perrin Duc-Maugé, Radio Armenia, 2011; Personal audio collection, Rajak Ohanian Studio, 2015-2020
— Videos by Vartan Ohanian: Aleppo 1915... Testimonies, exhibition organized by the Lyon Municipal Library, in partnership with the Bullukian Foundation and the National Center of Armenian Memory, Bullukian Foundation, Lyon, 2015; OOBLIK workshop, Pommiers, 2015; Personal archives.
— Photography: Rajak Ohanian, Aleppo, 1915… Testimonies, series produced in 2005-2006 and unpublished research images. ; Family archives and additional photographs by Vartan Ohanian.
— Text: Arthur Adamov, excerpt from the preface to The Book of Poverty and Death by Rainer Maria Rilke, ed. Charlot, coll. Fontaine, 1941
— Music: Ensemble SPITAK
— Credits: Jade Ronat-Mallié
— Production: Documents d'artistes Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, with the support of the Ministry of Culture within the framework of the fund of assistance to the captation and to the alternative diffusions. In partnership with the Réseau documents d'artistes.