Hazel Antaramian Hofman
Hazel presents an illustrated lecture based on her ethnographic research of the post-WWII repatriation to Soviet Armenia. The presentation is comprised of selected accounts to include photographs, archival material and documents, and biographical information based on personal interviews of surviving repatriates. As an artist, Hazel responds to the gripping stories and telling photographs that she collected during her research with music, artwork, image and text. The program provides the audience with an emotive sense of what the repatriates experienced. Over 30 repatriates have been interviewed along with their friends and family providing a greater understanding and appreciation of the cultural life of those who directly experienced this little known historical event. The lecture also presents the cultural differences and the historical contributions made by repatriates who left the diaspora to "return" to the smallest of the Soviet republics. The period of history covered begins in the late 1940s to the mid-1960s.
Since 2011, Hazel has been documenting stories and photographs of those surviving Armenians who left countries in the Diaspora and “repatriated” to Soviet Armenia after World War II. She has been in contact with repatriates originally from five different countries, including three who have written their memoirs. She has also collected personal archival documents and now maintains over 500 photographs that selectively illustrate the cultural life and times of the repatriation from the years 1947 to the mid-1960s. Hazel offers the presentation as part of her effort to give recognition to the contributions and sacrifices made by the repatriates for the betterment of Soviet Armenia, and to have their experiences included in the historical record.