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Forum Commemorates 89th Anniversary of Smyrna Catastrophe
September 27, 2011—No. 67 (202) 785-8430

Forum Commemorates 89th Anniversary of Smyrna Catastrophe

Research Presented on Refugees of Asia Minor who Settled on Chios

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) hosted a forum titled, “Greeks from Asia Minor: Remembrance of Things Past” presented by Alice James, professor of Anthropology, Shippensburg University, and visiting research associate at the Asia Minor Study Center, Athens, Greece. The forum was held September 27, 2011 at AHI’s Hellenic House in commemoration of the 89th anniversary of the Smyrna Catastrophe of 1922.

In her presentation, Professor James spoke about the research she has conducted since 1989 on Chios with a special emphasis on the refugees of Asia Minor refugees that settled there. According to Professor James, research on memory is particularly interesting in the case of refugees because “for refugees, remembering is a complex emotional journey of anger, nostalgia, pain, and happiness.” In addition, her presentation included narratives by the women of Chios who wanted to tell their story as well as photographs and portraits of the women of Chios. This particular project titled, “The Mirror of their past: Greek refugee photographs and memories of Anatolia” was in collaboration with B. Smith.

“We thank Professor James for presenting such compelling research and narratives about the refugees of Asia Minor who settled on Chios,” said AHI President Nick Larigakis. “In taking time from our busy schedules to remember the anniversary of the Smyrna Catastrophe, we hope to take a step toward halting modern-day human rights abuses and atrocities. Unfortunately, we need only to look to Greek Cypriot refugees of present-day Turkish-occupied Cyprus to see that the international community has yet to learn the lessons of the past.”

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.


For additional information, please contact Demetra Atsaloglou at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at