“I hope that it presents a unique way of looking at the issue,” she says. “I think photography perhaps is one of the only ways to keep exploring the story because it leaves room for interpretation and can capture some of the pieces that people haven’t already heard.”
Historians peg the start of the genocide as April 24, 1915, when the government arrested more than 200 Armenian community leaders in Constantinople. Some 1.5 million Armenians were killed as the Ottoman Empire crumbled and what is now Turkey took shape. Discrimination against Armenians continued for decades, and even now many Turkish citizens of Armenian descent hide their identity and history for fear of reprisals.
Cook was drawn to the story shortly after moving to Turkey in 2006 and seeing how the issue of Armenian identity and history bubbled under surface.