We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Almadjian and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christine, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
I have heard the term “ignorance is bliss” countless times in my life. And, although many take it into consideration to help balance responsibilities and a state of being overwhelmed, I cannot seem to agree with it. Yes, projecting a nonchalant type of attitude may help create balance between oneself and external pressures, but it can also create a disconnect. I value the connection to the world that I have, and the access to actualities that I would not have if I ignored them! Being in-tune with the happenings of the world destroys apathy, and creates empathy, values I like more than ignorance in my field of aspirations.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a Law, History, and Culture major and Resistance to Genocide Minor, I work closely with research surrounding the adjudication processes of genocide, primarily, the Armenian Genocide. I ask broad questions, like what the process of perpretration was, how this impacted future generations, and how the community has grown contemporarily through practices like arts, dance, music, cuisine, and professionalism. I also study the methods of systematic denial by successor state, and which methods of adjudication would best fit the future of acceptance progresses. As a pre-Law track also, I take into consideration the legal aspect as well, such as standards of evidence, and archival information within records, eyewitness acounts, and other primary sources.
Although much of the focus of my community has been uplifting contemporary voices, all of which I admire, I am an individual that also wants to incorporate recognition of the past into our healing process. There is no progress without admittance of denial in an international court, and that is work that I want to carry as my focus! Although my work and aspirations hold a heavy emotional toll, it is work that I value and want to leave as my legacy to my community. I have learned that the work that must be done has been attempted for years, and although it may be difficult, I want to bring a different perspectiver to the field of international law and modernity.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Although I am ethnically Armenian, I am a Los Angeles native, and have had the honor to access so many wonderful places within this city. Attending USC has also given me the ability to explore so much more of Downtown Los Angeles, a place I was in predominantly. Some places I would definitely recommend are Dulce Coffee in the USC Village, which has the best tasting blueberry matcha and roti buns. I would then move over to Chinatown, to visit the center of city square and take in the beauty that is the architecture, shops, and ambiance. I would recommend grabbing a vegan burger and shake at Burgerlords, an egg tart at the family-run shop next door, and a box of fortune cookies at the little shop of goodies near the fountain.
Finally, I would drive over to Little Armenia and the greater Los Feliz area, another place close to home. Since I attended school in this area, I had the privilege of exploring shops that are Armenian, Thai, and Bangladeshi! Some of my favorites include Taron Bakery, for an Armenian delicacy called the “boreg” (cheese and warm bread), Sahak’s Basturma (with delicious cured meats and pickles), and finally, Falafel Arax (a great place for Lebanese-Armenian pita wrapped falafel sandwiches and shawarmas. I would also recommend grabbing a coffee at Go Get Em Tiger, and ending the day by watching the sunset at Barnsdall Art Park.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have had the privilege of learning from so many wonderful people in my life, and they have all had particular influences on my personal and educational development. One of the most important was one was of my college professors, Mr. Levon Marashlian. He really solidified my passions regarding the Armenian question, and constantly pondered the past, present, and future in these considerations of study, aspects I explore now. Similarly, my other incredible professor, Maite Peterson, really let me explore perspectives surrounding feminism. As a high school freshman in a college class, she gave me the space to participate, incorporate my own ideas and perspectives, and blossom into a strong, self-aware woman. I will forever be in awe of her resilience and power.
Finally, being a student worker at USC Dornsife’s Armenian Institute has given me access to incredible minds, such as those of director Salpi Ghazarian, Shushan Karapetian, Silva Sevlian, Lilit Keshishyan, and Gegham Mughnetsyan. All of them are powerful, passionate, and educated minds who are experts in their respective fields, and this has given me broader access to the contemporary Armenian identity through sources of support, creativity, and even humor!

Instagram: @christinealmadj

Twitter: @christinealmadj

Facebook: Christine Almadjian

Image Credits
Photo 2: @sermports on Instagram, Serin Matous. Photo 3: @thearmenianreport on Instagram

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