Sato Moughalian is one of those people who can do drastically different things well. She is, to my mind, everything a professional historian should be. Sensitive. Kind. Fearless. Detail-oriented. She’s also a professional flutist and is the artistic director of Perspectives Ensemble, which is a chamber group. She’s invested in documenting her people’s history, musical, material and more. We’ll be talking about, amongst other topics, her recent book, out 2019 from Stanford University Press’ imprint Redwood Press, about her grandfather, the artist, entrepreneur, and ceramicist David Ohannessian, Feast of Ashes: The Life and Art of David Ohannessian.
It was nominated for a Pen/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography and was a finalist for the Prose Award in Biography and Autobiography. Feast of Ashes tells the story of David Ohannessian, the renowned ceramicist who in 1919 founded the art of Armenian pottery in Jerusalem, where his work and that of his followers is now celebrated as a local treasure. Ohannessian’s life encompassed some of the most tumultuous upheavals of the modern Middle East. Born in an isolated Anatolian mountain village, he witnessed the rise of violent nationalism in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire, endured arrest and deportation in the Armenian Genocide, founded a new ceramics tradition in Jerusalem under the British Mandate, and spent his final years, uprooted, in Cairo and Beirut. The book begins and ends with his granddaughrer, Sato Moughalian and her experiences as an artist and as a historian of this important narrative. Moughalian is now working on a second book.
Welcome to Knowledge and its Producers, a limited series from the Maydan produced by NA Mansour. In each episode, we’ll be talking to people who are at the forefront of knowledge production, typically away from the traditional educational power structures.
Sato’s album Oror (With Alyssa Reit)