Auction of Souls: The Exploitation of Aurora Mardiganian

 USC Shoah Foundation
Grade Level:
  10 -  12
Estimated completion time:
 1.5 hour(s)
Standards Addressed:
 Common Core, ISTE-NETS
Subject Area:
 Ethics, Genocide Studies, World History, Armenian Genocide

In this activity, students explore the life of Aurora Mardiganian, an Armenian Genocide survivor who wrote a memoir in about her experiences titled Ravished Armenia in 1918. The book was adapted into the 1919 film Auction of Souls, in which Aurora played herself. Unfortunately, the American film producers exploited Aurora and her story in ways that were not consistent with Aurora's experience.

Students will explore how Aurora's story was used, and also listen to Aurora telling her story herself by viewing clips from her testimony.

They will develop a film synopsis for a new biographical film about Aurora's life that avoids the kind of exploitation she experienced in 1919.

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