Lara is a genocide scholar and human rights specialist. She is a lawyer, and currently working on her PhD in genocide studies at School of Advanced Studies, University of London. Specialized in London and Essex Universities, and American Academy of Larnaka, Cyprus.
- What can you tell about your research topic and if your study in AGMI within this period supported to improve your knowledge on the Armenian Genocide?
- First of all I would like to thank you for this opportunity to be able to be a participant of AGMI Lemkin program. It was an experience I will treasure the most.
My PhD research topic is about transitional justice in relation to the Armenian Genocide. I am proposing a truth and reparation commission so that 3rd and 4th generation be able to understand in more depth issues in relation to the Armenian Genocide. My research is also on how to preserve memory, since most survivors have perished throughout the years. My time in AGMI, I managed to get access to survivors testimonies as well as view many secondary books in relation to the Armenian Genocide. Moreover, the trip gave me the opportunity of being able to talk my mother tongue language. (Being a Diaspora Armenian and going to private schools - my Armenian language had evaporated slightly.)
- Whether this month was productive for you?
- The month in stay was very productive for me because while being in Armenia I viewed first hand what the burden of the past is for the Armenians in Armenia. Although the Diaspora suffered immensely and lost a part of their legacy nevertheless Armenia also suffered equally.
- What expectations you had, when you decided to apply to Lemkin scholarship?
- I was excited of given the opportunity to travel for the first time in Armenia. I fell in love with the country and the hospitality of the people. I also wanted to have the opportunity of visiting the museum to see first hand sources in relation to the Genocide. I was sad that I did not get the opportunity to visit the Manuscript museum, however the Lemkin scholarship is an excellent opportunity for both genocide and non scholars to learn something more.
- What give you the Lemkin’s program? What are your impressions?
- The Lemkin program gives you the opportunity to get to know more about the Armenian Genocide. Moreover, it gave me the opportunity to visit a country which I wanted to see ever since I was a child, but never had the opportunity. I want also to say that through this program, you get to see people who work behind the museum and who do a great job to ensure that young generations have the knowledge to learn about the Genocide.
- And a question that we give to all alumni. What would you like to change in this program?
- The only thing that I would change through the program is to give the opportunity to be able to visit the country. I had the chance while being in Armenia to visit monasteries, churches and places outside Yerevan. The scenery was beautiful and all this culture has been preserved for years. I enjoyed the outside scenery just as much as i enjoyed the reading and research within the museum.
- Thank you so much, Lara.
© Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.