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Why Germany's recognition of Armenian genocide is such a big deal

Why Germany's recognition of Armenian genocide is such a big deal | Rich's Geography Report |
Armenian American journalist Liana Aghajanian says the German parliament's decision is all the more groundbreaking because it was a politician of Turkish descent who pushed it through.


The German Bundestag's overwhelming vote last week in favor of this resolution, with just one vote against and one abstention, brought both gratitude and anger. Armenian communities, many of them descendants of genocide survivors who are dispersed across the world, are grateful. Turkey, however, was incensed and recalled its ambassador to Germany. Many Turks see the vote as not just a threat to longstanding German-Turkish relations, but to Turkish national identity.

Richard Aitchison's insight:
If Turkey wants to move forward it must address its past. This basis of this article is that with Germany, who has its own very bad past history with genocide, officially acknowledging Turkey's genocide when will Turkey finally do so. Germany not only has a history of genocide, but as the article state it has a key history with the Ottoman Empire (formerly where Turkey is located) and thus many Turkish ancestors, including at the time the Prime minister. Turkey who has refused to acknowledge that this genocide ever occurred and that it was simply just a causality of war must make certain cultural changes unless it will continue to fall into a land in which progressive ideas will never reach. Turkey who wants to economically move forward, thus aligning with the EU can not do this until they take ownership of its past and make an effort to continue human rights actions into the future. Will Turkey ever do this? One would think they would have to if they do ever want to be apart of the the EU which would be a major political and economic victory for the Turks. Germany on the other hand can be a world leader in human rights as it tries to correct the wrongs of its past as well. 
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Portraits of Reconciliation

Portraits of Reconciliation | Rich's Geography Report |
20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, these perpetrators and survivors are standing for forgiveness.
Richard Aitchison's insight:
Images create so much power. As stated before in a few scoops (I seem to gravitate towards some of these beautiful and puzzling photos) the power of images can create so many emotions and we then can use these powerful thoughts and emotions to strike important conversations. When talking about Rwanda one must always discuss the genocide that took place. In this article we  the project by Pieter Hugo. In this project the people who agreed to be photographed are part of a continuing national effort toward reconciliation and worked closely with AMI (Association Modeste et Innocent), a nonprofit organization. In AMI’s program, small groups of Hutus and Tutsis are counseled over many months, culminating in the perpetrator’s formal request for forgiveness. If forgiveness is granted by the survivor, the perpetrator and his family and friends typically bring a basket of offerings, usually food and sorghum or banana beer. The accord is sealed with song and dance.
The  photos show two people connected in some way from the genocide in a piece of forgiveness. This project should help show that we can forgive and we can move forward as a society. As we continue to witness societal problems throughout the world we can use these images to discuss key topics in the world. We always say there will never be a catastrophe. However, we always seem to not learn from history. These images show that we must learn and that going forward it is key to learn from past mistakes. Again a must read and must watch article! Truly amazing to see these photos and read their stories. 
Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:35 PM

Rwanda is a genocide that many people don't even know about. Regardless of whether someones heard of it, they should still be aware of how people have lived their lives from that time. Some looking to forgive the people who did this, and others looking to gain forgiveness from those they hurt.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:17 PM

You hear about how people in Rwanda forgiving the perpetrators that killed their families, parents, husbands, and children.  They can say that they have fully forgiven them and that they are on good terms with each other or they forgave someone and that was it.  Seeing the body language that these people have together really makes it real.  Some people are seen awkwardly next to each other while others are touching, even holding hands.  Seeing the pictures of both perpetrator and survivor together after forgiveness has been granted can do a lot more than words can in telling what kind of relationship these people have together twenty years after the genocide. 

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:17 AM

In an almost unthinkable arrangement, these pictures feature victims of the Rwandan genocide standing with the perpetrators who often killed their families. In a genocide where most of the killings were committed with machetes and perpetrated by neighbors attacking neighbors, it is difficult to imagine how the survivors feel and how they can stand to forgive the killers. It brings up the question of what right do these killers have to ask forgiveness from their victims?