The author of Swallows and Armenians gives a fascinating insight into the relationship between the author Arthur Ransome and the Altounyan family, an Anglo-Armenian family from Aleppo, Syria who were the catalyst for the writing of one of the classics of English children's literature. Ransome denied the connection of the Altounyan children to his book but Babayan's extensive research, gleaned from diary extracts, letters, books and conversations with the family, re-evaluates this children's classic, firmly re-instating these children as the models for the book's primary characters.
Babayan is joined by Shakeh Major Tchilingirian, a renowned dance artist and choreographer for The Circle of Life, a circle dance event that commemorates the Armenian Genocide. Participants will join hands in the process of reconciliation through living culture and in recognition of the Altounyans and their hospital in Aleppo that provided treatment, sanctuary, education and work for orphans and survivors. Tickets for the talk £4.50, includes refreshments: https://www.oldfirestation.carlisle.city/whats-on/category/festivals/swallows-and-armenians
Image: Armenian dance artist and choreographer Shakeh Major Tchilingirian performs on the shores of Derwentwater in Keswick, Cumbria, as part of Swallows and Armenians, artist Karen Babayan's multimedia exhibition celebrating the Armenian heritage of the real-life family that inspired Swallows and Amazons, the classic children's adventure by Arthur Ransome. The exhibition is at the Old Fire Station, Carlisle, on 19 February and runs until 15 March. Photo credit: Asadour Guzelian