On Thursday, March 12, Serj Tankian, the lead singer of Grammy Award-winning American band SYSTEM OF A DOWN, addressed how the Armenian Genocide has personally impacted his life at a New Zealand Parliament event, hosted by Gareth Hughes MP in coordination with the Armenian National Committee of New Zealand (ANC-NZ). Video footage of his speech can be seen below.
Tankian, a New Zealand resident, is the grandchild of Armenian Genocide survivors and achieved fame as the frontman of SYSTEM OF A DOWN, which has sold over 40 million records worldwide. While still touring with the hard rock group, Tankian has also recorded success as a solo musician and singer, songwriter, film score composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet and political activist.
"It's important for people to be aware about the genocide — the first genocide of the 20th century," Tankian told Newshub. "The United States just recognized it, most — or a lot of countries — have recognized it, including France, Italy, the European Union, the Vatican, [and] Russia."
At the event in New Zealand Parliament, Tankian was joined by Australia-based genocide scholar Dr. Panayiotis Diamadis, who also addressed the audience made up of members of Parliament and other dignitaries. Diamadis discussed how New Zealanders came to the aid of victims of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides during the First World War.
ANC-NZ was joined at the event by their colleagues from across the ditch, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).