Film Screening: Grandma’s Tattoos

Grandma’s Tattoos is Suzanne Khardalian’s journey into her family history that investigates the story behind Grandma Khanoum’s odd tattoos and reveals part of the seldom-discussed fate of Armenian women and girls during the Armenian Genocide. In1919, just at the end of WWI, the Allied forces reclaimed 90,819 young Armenian girls and children who, during the war years, were forced to become prostitutes to survive or had given birth to children after forced marriages or rape. Many of these women were tattooed as a sign that they were someone’s property. European and American missionaries organized help and saved thousands of refugees who later were scattered all over the world to places like Beirut, Marseille and Fresno.

Suzanne Khardalian, an independent filmmaker and writer, presently lives in Stockholm, Sweden. She studied journalism in Beirut and Paris and worked as a journalist in Paris until 1985 when she started to work on films. Khardalian also holds a master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and contributes articles to various publications. She has directed more than twenty films that have been shown both in Europe and the US.