Smyrna-1922


My grandfather, George Magarian, born in 1895, educated at the American College at Konia, Turkey and, later, director of the Konya YMCA, filmed Smyrna, Turkey, immediately after it's genocidal destruction.

"The Great Fire of Smyrna is the name commonly given to the fire that ravaged Izmir/Smyrna from 13 to 17 September 1922. Turkish armed forces systematically burned the city and killed Greek and Armenian inhabitants. This is based on extensive eyewitness evidence from Western troops sent to Smyrna during the evacuation, foreign diplomats/relief workers based at Smyrna and Turkish sources." - www.Wikipedia.org

The resulting 35mm edited nitrate film was hidden in my grandmother's  apartment in NYC for 60 years.  I was lucky to transfer it to digital before it completely disintegrates. -Robert Davidian  5 March 2008

Three years ago, I met with Fulbrighter, film maker Maria Iliou, in Washington DC to restore the film and transfer it to HD video at Colorlab. This was an initiative by Iliou & PROTEAS, funded by PROTEAS, a Greek not for profit company, that has been saving archival materials about SMYRNA and THE EXCHANGE all around the world the last 3 years. I gave them permission to include this material in their two projects, SMYRNA and EXCHANGE, that will be opening at the BENAKI MUSEUM in December 15th 2011 (SMYRNA) and February 12th 2012 (EXCHANGE) a first presentation of those images in Greece to be done by my agreement.  It is a Maria's Iliou and PROTEAS initiative, funded by BODOSSAKIS FOUNDATION, JF COSTOPOULOS FOUNDATION, ARGYROS FOUNDATION, NICHOLAS BOURAS FOUNDATION, JIM CHANOS, ROY & DIANE VAGELOS FOUNDATION. - Robert Davidian 19 April 2011

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