In Herant (2013), my step-grandfather speaks of his family’s escape from Turkey during the Armenian Genocide. He gives a riveting account of atrocities committed against Armenian women. However, as spectators, we find our attention drifting from the serious story to the way he appears to think expressively before speaking; the afternoon light that colors the room; the woman who hovers behind him putting on her earrings, ignoring the camera; the knick knacks, ornaments and junk that clutter the background; the radio’s hum; and the children
whining for dinner. The past and present run parallel to each other. It is a domestic hubbub, and it occupies a space in us from where we can choose to attend to the tale, or not.

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