Lullabies, Laments and Memories

A comparative study on Kurdish and Armenian examples in today’s Istanbul

Event type
Inalco, Paris
Conference "Discourses on Memory in Iranian Cultures"

with Melissa Bilal

This presentation will focus on lament-type lullabies as means of gendered transmission of experiences and memories.

In the houses, next to the cradle, Kurdish and Armenian women in today’s Istanbul create an intimate space where they dialogue with themselves and with their child, expressing their feelings, their sorrows, as well as the trauma of displacement, exile and loss. Through the words, the music, the circumstances and the context in which Armenian and Kurdish lullabies are sung in today’s Istanbul, women transmit memories to the community.

Our aim will be to discuss the characteristics of these memories in the Kurdish and the Armenian case, and their transmission in an urban context, sometimes seen as foreign land and sometimes as homeland.

Research project
Kurds in Turkey
On sorrow and loss amongst Kurdish refugees in Istanbul and Diyarbakir 2003-2005