Denial, shame and the Armenian Genocide

by Robert Kazandjian The identity I was constructing for myself collapsed around my L.A-Gear-clad feet when I was six or seven. My friend Kirilos arrived from Sudan, and joined our school. The teacher, encouraged by my proud declarations of Egyptian heritage, told me to speak ‘your language’ with him. ‘Parev, inch’pes es?’ (Hello, how are… Read More

The #BlackLivesMatter Movement: Your comfort isn’t the priority, justice is

by Robert Kazandjian Black Lives Matter. Today, three weeks after 18 year old Mzee Mohammed’s death in police custody in Liverpool, five years and one day since Mark Duggan’s murder by armed police officers in Tottenham, Black British activists are undertaking bold collective action. Organiser Joshua Virasami told the BBC that black people should unite… Read More

The Black Excellence of Cuban Boxing

by Robert Kazandjian   On 23rd June, Cuban flyweight boxer Robeisy Ramirez defeated Kenyan boxer Benson Gicharu to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio, ensuring that for the first time since 2004, Cuba would have a full complement of boxers at the Games. For someone like me, who has dedicated my best years to the… Read More

Bigotry was the bait for #VoteLeave, now it is our youth who will suffer most

by Robert Kazandjian   I wrote last week that we had sleepwalked into a nightmare. 17,410,742 people have voted to preserve that nightmare, insisting that Britain reject its membership of the European Union. Half of you don’t like us, that’s the bottom line. Racism and xenophobia triumphed. Had we viewed a Brexit as a legitimate… Read More

This is what a fascist looks like

by Robert Kazandjian Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, partner of Brendan Cox and mother of two young children, was murdered in the street by a fascist terrorist. We have sleepwalked into a nightmare. Jo Cox’s murder was the inevitable, tragic consequence of a steady flow of fascistic bile that has permeated the… Read More

Britain’s use of former child soldiers overseas reveals a twisted disregard for black bodies

by Robert Kazandjian  Britain’s disregard for black bodies is centuries old, from John Hawkins’ maiden voyage to the Guinea Coast in 1562 and subsequent enslavement of 500 Africans1,which began British involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, to Sarah Reed’s brutalisation by a Metropolitan Police constable in 2012 and her death while in the care of… Read More

MPs Voted for Airstrikes Passionately, Are They Going to Lobby Just as Passionately for the Refugees This Will Create?

by Robert Kazandjian   Seven days ago, without consulting a public who have grown increasingly conscious of the British state’s duplicitous “humanitarian interventions”, 397 of our elected representatives voted to add British bombs to the deluge raining down upon the Syrian people. This is our perverse democracy in action. And let us be clear, in… Read More

Genocide: History Repeating

by Robert Kazandjian    ‘I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times. It happened to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action.’ – Raphael Lemkin On July the 11th, Muslim Bosniaks commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The Bosnian War raged as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia… Read More

No Reconciliation without Recognition: A Personal History of the Armenian Genocide

by Robert Kazandjian On April 24, 2015 Armenians worldwide commemorated the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. In 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested approximately 250 prominent Armenian community figures and intellectuals in Constantinople, the majority of whom were executed. The great poet Daniel Varoujan was disembowelled before his eyes were gouged out. The carnage spread like a… Read More