Sunday 24th 2016 marked the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. A genocide that might be considered “a long ago” but still has strong repercussions on the life of today´s Armenians and Turkish people. Current advocacy speeches for and against the recognition of this Genocide, with great emotional toll, in times of high tension triggered by the Nagorno-Karabakh events, show us one thing: We need to TALK. Relations need to be normalized.
Considering the geopolitical context of South-Caucasus, we cannot expect from Head of States to bring a political leadership on this issue, although Georgia is playing a a necessary role of mediation within the Region. Normalization and Genuine Reconciliation can only be processed by citizens contact, regardless of where the initiative come from, from the top or from the bottom.
There are numerous examples of civil societies that have been ennemies and who are now TALKing : The French and the German have successfully overcome the legacy of the 3 wars they have lived the last 150 years, thanks to Youth Exchanges and the European Integration. We have seen last summer young Serbs asking for forgiveness to Bosniaks for the Genocide of Srebrenica. We have seen Rwandan murderers building home for the relatives of their victims in an act of redemption. Humans might be capable of the worst but also the best.
The Armenian Genocide needs to belong not only to the legacy of the descendent of its victims. Commemoration can hardly have a positive impact of the future generation if it stays a separate, antagonistic emotional remembrance.
TALK.France is advocating for intercultural dialogue wherever it is needed. We believe that the mobility of Youth is a tremendous factor for intercultural understanding. We strive to connect people through our project in this aim of international peace building.