Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Alexis Herr


As the first genocide of the 20th century tore through Ottoman Turkey, advances within the film industry opened new doors for humanitarian aid. The story of Aurora Mardiganian, a teenage Armenian survivor, provided Americans with a visual representation of what mass atrocity looked like through the film Ravished Armenia. However, the means to which the film and accompanying autobiography were created exemplify a violation of ethics. Anthony Slide’s edited edition of the narrative titled Ravished Armenia and the Story of Aurora Mardiganian offers an insightful account of Mardiganian’s plight, and gives evidence to the claim that she was exploited physically, psychologically, and financially, in order to yield the maximum profit. Mardiganian’s legacy highlights the need for remembrance over apathy, and active awareness over indifference.