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Lost History through the Lens of the Dildilian Brothers

Written by Sabine Küper on . Posted in Footprints

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  • Tsolag and Aram Dildilian are posing for an advertisement of their studio, 1890
  • The Portraits, the young photographers shot, are arranged like portrait paintings
  • The reopening of the Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul 1908 cause demonstrations of joy also in Merzifon. The Youngturks movement was embracing nationalism. Wars on the Balkans and in the Caucasus caused an unfair collective blame on the Armenians to collaborate with the enemy
  • Massgrave in Hekimhan
  • German Soldiers posing, they gave the glassplates for development to the Dildilians studio in November 1918, where they remained in the archive
  • Last Christmas in Merzifon 1920
  • When the family leaves the country in 1922 lots of relatives, like this cousin with his whole family, have been killed.

The Dildilians were a Family of Photographers. They were working in Merzifon, Samsun and Sivas between 1872 and 1923. Armen T. Marsoobian researched the history of the family of his mother and collected material from relatives. He is the grandson of Tsolag Dildilian, who founded the first Photography studio and expanded it together with his brother Aram.

The exhibition in Depo Istanbul shows strong documents of the history of that region during the times of the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The terrible events around 1915, the Aghet for Armenians in Anatolia, is shown through the lens of the Dildilian Brothers. They pictured the growing of the Family. Weddings, children and growing wealth are appearing in more and more excellent Photographs. The events around 1915 are shown in reduced, sensitive pictures, that never abuse the dignity of the victims. The whole family vanished from their homeland. Some were killed or disappeared for ever, the rest immigrated to France, Greece and the USA.

Depo Istanbul, 26.04.-08.06.2013

Watch also the movie from the opening

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