“Armenian Genocide Relived,” Mail and Guardian

My paternal grandmother, Berjui Marashlian, is missing from the family photograph taken in 1926 to mark her family’s departure from Turkey and Syria to make a new life in São Paulo, Brazil.

Berjui’s mother, Semma, the matriarch, is sitting on a bench in a plain, ill-fitting dress. Her husband is standing behind her in a jacket and tie. Semma’s mother, sister, two teenage sons and four-year-old daughter are with her, but her oldest daughter, Berjui, is not. She had been sent to New York four years earlier for an arranged marriage.

In the photo, Semma looks resigned. She looks tired and I can imagine that she and her husband had decided that, after lives filled with violence, threatened deportations and fear, the move was the only way to preserve the family. I know this, too, because the four-year-old daughter in the photograph, Kanarig, is my great-aunt and we used to spend hours talking about family history.

This past Friday, April 24, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide, the systematic extermination of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey.

Modern Armenia sits between Turkey and Iran and was part of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1991. But many Armenians settled in Turkey. It was Abdul Hamid II, the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who ruled from 1876 to 1908, who first called for the extermination of the Armenians. Massacres occurred in the late 1800s for political, economic, nationalistic and religious reasons (Armenians are Christian).

Deportation route
But it was on April 24 1915 that 250 Armenian clergy, teachers, writers and journalists were arrested in Constantinople (now Istanbul) and deported to a prison in Chankiri, about 320km east, and then forced to walk hundreds of kilometres along a deportation route.

The killing of Armenians continued in several ways. Pogroms were carried out. Able-bodied men were conscripted to provide forced labour. Thousands of people were deported on death marches out of Turkey into the Syrian desert, driven forward by soldiers and deprived of food and water, and subjected to rape, robbery and death.

For Semma and her family, the Turkish pogroms began in 1895, when she was nine years old, in the town of Marash. As my great-aunt tells the story, the Turkish militia came looking especially for young men. They hid their brother Krigor in a dry well so no one would find him. Semma’s baby sister was trampled in the attack and killed. Semma’s mother jumped from a high terrace to escape. As a result of the fall, she sustained injuries that left her disabled and Semma became her lifelong caretaker.

Armenia ancient and modern

As a result of the attack, the family moved from Marash to Adana, another town in southern Turkey. Twenty-five years later, in 1920, Marash became the site of a battle between the Turks and the French that forced the French to retreat. The Turkish army killed the remaining Armenians in the town.

Krigor went on to write a book, Marash, about the town and its tragedy.

When Semma was pregnant with her third child in April 1909, and living with her husband Luther in Tarsus, there was another massacre of Armenians in Tarsus and Adana.  This took place after the fall of Abdul Hamid II to the Young Turks in 1908 and coincided with a counter-revolution that opposed returning Turkey to constitutional rule.

More than 4 000 Armenian homes were destroyed and an estimated 20 000 people killed. The Young Turks opened an investigation into the carnage but there were no prosecutions.

As a result, Luther went to the United States to see whether he could get established there and call for his family to follow. But, once he arrived in the US, he decided it would not be fair to ask Semma to travel on her own with a newborn baby and two toddlers on a ship for a month, so he returned to Turkey in 1910.

Sheltered
In 1915, the Turkish government decreed that Armenians had to leave Tarsus, so Semma and her family prepared. They stocked dry food. They built a tent they could carry. As it turned out, a Turkish friend sheltered them and they did not join the deportation.

Luther was conscripted and sent to Palestine to work on a road crew for two and a half years. When he returned to Tarsus, they continued to be frightened for their lives so, in 1922, they left for Syria.

Around the time Semma and Luther were leaving Turkey, a young Polish Jew named Raphael Lemkin was observing events. More than a decade later, he drafted a paper about the Ottoman massacres of Armenians. He wrote that those crimes had been largely ignored by most Europeans as an “Eastern” problem.  His paper also drew attention to the rise of Hitler. Lemkin was concerned that, if it could happen to the Armenians, it could happen again. In 1933 he suggested that, if the international community wanted to prevent mass slaughter, they had to unite in a campaign to ban it, but he was not successful in getting people’s attention.

Lemkin was correct that Hitler had learned from the past. In 1939, Hitler made a speech declaring: “Who today still speaks of the massacre of the Armenians?” A week later, the Nazis invaded Poland.

New word coined
When words such as “barbarity” and “vandalism” failed to take Lemkin’s campaign forward, he knew that he needed a new word. According to Samantha Power, the author of A Problem from Hell, a book that charts genocide in the 20th century, in 1944 Lemkin coined a word that was a hybrid that combined the Greek geno, meaning “race” or “tribe”, with the Latin cide, from caedere, meaning “killing”: genocide.

Turkey has spent 100 years denying the massacre of more than a million Armenians and refusing to acknowledge the term genocide. In March this year, Pope Francis was condemned by the Turkish government for calling the killings the first genocide of the 20th century.

While living in Syria, Semma and Luther continued to be concerned for their children’s future. Luther supported the family by buying two Model Ts and driving passengers from Aleppo to Damascus and Baghdad. Semma travelled with him and saw how tense his interactions were with the border guards. She even survived one frightening incident when a guard called for them to stop and shot after them from his horse. She felt the wind of the bullet above her head.

They decided to leave the region permanently for South America. It was no longer easy to get a visa for the US so they decided on Brazil.

Before they left, Semma and her 18-year-old daughter, Berjui, met a woman named Khanoum Kuljian who confided to Semma that her husband had been beheaded in a massacre in Antep, Turkey. That is why she fled to Aleppo and her son fled to New York. She spoke to Semma about whether Berjui would consider moving to the US and marrying her son. Berjui agreed.

She travelled first to Cuba for the marriage, and then was able to get a visa into the US to join her new husband. Semma was sad to see her daughter go but thought it was best for her. This is why Berjui was not in the studio photograph and why her son, my father Robert Luther Kuljian, and I were born in the US.

The studio photo captures my family at a time of great stress and change. Semma lived with her family on a farm in Brazil for 30 years. In the late 1950s she went to the US to visit Berjui and died there in 1959.

I was born in 1962 and grew up in the US, in Watertown outside Boston, with a strong awareness of what my family had survived and a strong sense of Armenian identity. I know that April 24 2015 has great meaning for many Armenian families around the world.

Christa Kuljian is a writing fellow at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research and the author of Sanctuary: How an Inner-city Church Spilled onto a Sidewalk (Jacana 2013)

“A Sanctuary Torn Asunder,” City Press

For 14 years, the Central Methodist Church housed the homeless, but now they have nowhere to go

The Central Methodist Church wasn’t perfect, but it provided hope to thousands of people in need. The fate of these people – and those who have yet to arrive in Joburg – hangs in the balance after the church shut down its refugee ministry. Pictures: Leon Sadiki, Elizabeth Sejake, Lebohang Mashiloane

On the morning of January 22, I have an appointment to meet the new superintendent minister at the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, Reverend Ndumiso Ncombo, who is Bishop Paul Verryn’s successor.

Walking past the Small Street Mall, I see that the bright yellow sign Freedom Chivima hung years ago above the entrance of the church to advertise his karate lessons is gone.

The fence that was erected in 2009 to prevent people from sleeping in the mall is still there. But there is no longer a row of people standing behind it, reaching through to sell socks or hats or prayer beads. No one is sitting in front of the church getting their hair braided.

In the past, the church housed thousands of residents and it was often an effort to walk through the large groups of people at the entrance and get into the building and up the stairs. That was a journey I made hundreds of times over the five years I researched and wrote Sanctuary.

December 31 marked Verryn’s last day as superintendent minister, and the new leadership brought an end to the refugee ministry at the church.

On the day of my appointment with Ncombo, the new expandable security gates are closed across the entrance to the church, the foyer inside is empty and the place looks abandoned.

A private security guard lets me in through a small entrance at the back of the building. Despite the deadline to vacate the area by December 31, there are about 100 people still living in the church, down from 468 on Christmas Eve. No longer spread over the building’s five floors, residents are now consolidated on the mezzanine and in the basement.

The office where Verryn was based for 18 years has been handed over to Ncombo, a tall, distinguished-looking middle-aged minister who was born in Soweto and grew up in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape. He has worked as a Methodist minister in Piet Retief and Benoni. Ncombo was based at Central Methodist for nine months in 2000, so he is no stranger to his new station.

As I sit in the empty waiting room, I notice a large broom leaning against the door frame. Ncombo comes out of his office to shake my hand. Wearing dark blue jeans and a grey, long-sleeved shirt with a white minister’s collar, Ncombo asks for five minutes to take care of something and then goes jogging down the passage. I think he’s going to need that energy, as well as the broom, for his new job.

One of Ncombo’s priorities will be to begin the effort to renovate the building. In addition to repairing collapsed ceilings, broken windows and shattered tiles, he plans to redo the electric wiring and the plumbing. The state of the building was a point of conflict between the congregation and Verryn for many years. Ncombo says the church will begin a campaign called Save the Sanctuary. The word ‘sanctuary’ means “place of refuge”, but it is also the name of the main room of worship in the church – the sanctuary. The new campaign will focus on the desire to save the building and highlight its role as a place of worship.

The pews, the pulpit and the stained glass windows in Central Methodist’s sanctuary have seen a great deal of history. Reverend Peter Storey stood up against the apartheid security police who threatened the sanctuary in the 1980s. Reverend Mvume Dandala tried his best to bring peace to the hostels in the midst of the violence of South Africa’s transition in the 1990s. Verryn first opened the doors of the church to provide accommodation in 2001. The numbers grew steadily to more than 300 in 2006 and peaked at more than 3?000 in 2008.

When Ncombo gets to his office, one of the first things he mentions is his concern about the recent outbreak of violence in Soweto.

“The Pakistani and Somali shopkeepers have their own networks. But if the violence spreads to affect Mozambicans and Zimbabweans, they might come here looking for shelter.”

Ncombo has made it clear that Central Methodist has closed the refugee ministry. He has met the remaining residents in the building on several occasions.

Most recently, the residents submitted a memo entitled Why We are Still Here. The one-page list explains that most of the remaining residents don’t have the money to pay rent and some of them are elderly and disabled and cannot relocate easily.

Verryn proposed that people move to a church community centre in Soweto, but the memo expresses concern about “threats from the Soweto community that there is going to be bloodshed”.

Some residents are requesting help to relocate to old age homes, to other home-based care facilities or to another shelter. It seems Ncombo is not going to pursue legal evictions, but will rather work with the remaining residents. He’s looking for help with this.

“I’ve told government if they haven’t been able to help in the past, they must try to help now.”

Hopefully, Ncombo will have more luck with organising support. In the past, governmental engagement with the crisis at Central Methodist has not gone well. As a result of the violence and the failed elections in Zimbabwe in 2008, as well as the xenophobic violence in South Africa, the number of people housed at Central Methodist skyrocketed.

In January 2009, Verryn asked the City of Joburg to provide a building to house the several thousand people who were sleeping in and around the church. Initially, the city approved a plan to renovate the Moth building on Loveday Street to accommodate 750 residents. The UN High Commission for Refugees and the department of home affairs helped to screen residents who were eligible for relocation. Unfortunately, Gauteng reneged on an agreement to help fund the management of the building. The plan was not implemented and no one from Central Methodist moved.

Also in early 2009, the church’s neighbour – Pitje Chambers, a law firm – took up a legal case against the city and the church. It applied for a court order compelling the city to remove the thousands of migrants from the church because their presence had become a health hazard. The case was eventually withdrawn, but tensions continued to rise.

Property owners along the Small Street Mall and judges at the South Gauteng High Court next door were also incensed by the mess on their doorstep. In July 2009, the Joburg metro police arrested more than 350 people who were sleeping outside the church for “loitering”.

Over the past five years, the number of people staying at the church subsided, but remained at about 800. Many in the congregation and across levels of government have not been supportive of Verryn’s open-door policy. One official once asked: “How do you strike a balance between a humanitarian crisis and the needs of business?”

In the end, it was church finances that broke the camel’s back. By July 2014, Central Methodist had built up a municipal debt of more than R3.2?million. This led to the practical financial decision to close the refugee ministry.

In the days before my meeting with Ncombo, the front pages were shouting about the violence in Soweto targeting foreign shop owners. It is poignant that Central Methodist is closing its refugee ministry just as there is another flare-up of anger and looting against foreign nationals, echoing the violence of May 2008.

Verryn used to say: “Central Methodist is seen as a place to house foreign nationals, but it’s not. It’s a confrontation to society around those in poverty, many of whom happen to be foreign nationals.”

Central Methodist wasn’t perfect, but it provided hope to people in need in an unequal society.

Every Friday night at 7pm there was a refugee meeting, where residents came together to discuss issues at the church. People would report on different activities – adult education, the crèche in the basement, the Albert Street School, computer training, sewing, book club, soccer and karate. Other organisations would offer healthcare, trauma counselling and support services.

The church wasn’t only about providing accommodation, it also encouraged people to become independent. There are a growing number of buildings in the city without electricity and water that have been taken over by rogue landlords and inhabited by those in dire need of shelter. The numbers of people turning to these buildings will increase.

Central Methodist was never able on its own to deal with the challenges of migrant accommodation, homelessness, or inner-city housing. There has always been a need for other institutions to address these issues as well. Like it or not, however, Central Methodist brought attention, good and bad, to the realities that South Africans face in our society and in our city – poverty, migration, xenophobia, policing, inner-city housing and shelter.

The church also made visible the crisis in Zimbabwe over this past decade. And it highlighted the tough reality that the inner city is filled with people who live in shocking conditions, that Johannesburg is a city with a very real gap between rich and poor.

For 14 years, with all its many flaws, Central Methodist never turned anyone away. The church may have closed its doors to the homeless, but people in need will not disappear. The flow of foreign nationals and South Africans from across the country into Johannesburg – and the resulting resentment and xenophobia – is not over.

The question is, will we rise to the occasion and find new ways to address these problems and meet these needs?

Kuljian is the author of Sanctuary: How an Inner-City Church Spilled onto a Sidewalk (Jacana 2013). She is a Writing Fellow based at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER). Next Saturday at 11am, Kuljian will lead a discussion at David Krut bookstore at Maboneng about Sanctuary and recent events at Central Methodist.

“I walked the streets of Watertown as a child,” Mail and Guardian

Boston Marathon? I had no idea what to think. Our TV wasn’t working so my husband and I looked at his iPad to see what we could find. YouTube gave us the first video footage of the bombings, which had happened less than an hour earlier.

I called my parents in the Boston area. My dad was out for a walk and my mom hadn’t heard a thing. They heard the news from their daughter in South Africa.

“I guess I’ll go turn on the TV,” my mother said with a heavy, reluctant tone. “There is so much violence in the world.”

I spent the first 22 years of my life in the Boston area in Massachusetts. From birth until age 11, I lived in Watertown, a place my parents were drawn to because of its sizeable Armenian community, complete with Armenian bakeries and grocers. Over decades, Armenian immigrants had settled there and made a life in the town.

As a teenager, I went to high school in Lexington. Then I lived in Cambridge for four years – home to Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In mid-1984, after university, I travelled to South Africa and stayed for a year – an experience that would shape the rest of my life. I remember in mid-1985, as I was leaving the office where I worked in downtown Johannesburg, a bomb exploded in the building next door.

Outpouring of sympathy
A different time, place and context, but in those days my parents watched South Africa on TV every night, concerned for my safety.

I have lived most of my adult life ever since in Johannesburg – living through the tension of negotiations, the celebrations of April 1994 and the challenges of the post-apartheid order.

The day after the Boston bombings, I posted on Facebook: “Exactly 30 years ago, in 1983, I ran the Boston Marathon. I can’t imagine crossing the finish line to be greeted by a deadly explosion. How terrible.”

The next day, after an outpouring of sympathy from across the world, I shared an article on Facebook by Glenn Greenwald from the Guardian, quoting Gary Young: “I’m up for us ‘All Being Bostonians Today’. But then can we all be Yeminis tomorrow and Pakistanis the day after? That’s how empathy works.”

I had great empathy for my hometown and hoped that many in the United States might now see suffering in other parts of the world with a new perspective.

Later in the week, coverage on CNN explained a manhunt for the suspects through the streets of Watertown. My mind wandered to my childhood there. Initially, we lived on Bradford Road in a “two-family” house – one family lived in a unit downstairs and we lived upstairs. My Armenian aunty, Chris, whose family had fled Turkey, lived next door.

‘Watertown is in lockdown’
I walked a lot as a child – to the James Russell Lowell School about a mile up Orchard Street, to the library further on, to the Benjamin Franklin store in Cushing Square, filled with toys and stationery, and to Victory Field to ride the swings. My grandmother, Berjui Marashlian, often took me to the Eastern Lamejun Bakery to buy treats such as pistachios and dried apricots.

It seems that one of the suspected brothers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was hiding in a boat in the backyard of a house on Franklin Street, about a mile from where I had lived as a child. Ironically, an immigrant to the US, he found himself in Watertown, a place of many immigrants.

I called my parents again to see how they were coping. “Watertown is in lockdown,” my dad said, as casually as if he was saying he was going out to get a loaf of bread.

My sister, who now lives in Los Angeles, told me that her college professor, who lives in Watertown, had police officers and snipers positioned in his house for a stand-off.

My cousin, who also lives in Watertown, said it was unsettling to wake up to the radio telling him a search was on for the suspect.

He described the increase of military and police helicopter traffic and said he felt “a little resistance to the police state, however temporary. It doesn’t sit well to be forced to stay inside and know that the police have taken over your town.”

My husband joked with me, saying he should tell my parents they are lucky that he pulled me out of that dangerous neighbourhood to come to live in South Africa.

Christa Kuljian is a freelance writer, whose debut book, Sanctuary (Jacana Media), has recently been published. It is about the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg and migration into the city

“Sjambok Rule at Home Affairs,” City Press

‘We don’t want you here. We want this area clear,” says a man who hits us with a sjambok on the legs.

It’s before 6am and pitch dark outside the Marabastad Home Affairs office in Pretoria.

The man walks on, through the crowd of people queuing in the veld, giving others the same treatment. “We’ve just been beaten with a whip,” says Reason Machengere from the Solidarity Peace Trust.

We are accompanying Yahaya Kassim, who is applying for an asylum permit. Since the Crown Mines refugee reception centre in Joburg closed earlier this year, Zimbabweans in need of permits have to travel to Marabastad in Pretoria.

Kassim is holding a letter from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and an affidavit that sets out his circumstances.On August 5, Zimbabwe’s Daily News reported that “Kassim, who is MDC youth chairperson for Ward 11 in Mbare…sustained severe facial burns after a group he identified as Zanu-PF youths trailed him to his friend’s home in Mbare”.

Now Kassim is staying at the Central Methodist Church in Joburg and being assisted with medical care and support by the Solidarity Peace Trust, an NGO “committed to human rights, freedom and democracy”.

Ishmael Kauzani of the Zimbabwe Youth Wing also travels with us. I take a picture of the crowds waiting to gain access to the office before there is any light. The flash attracts three sjambok-wielding men.

“Why are you here? Are you with the media? Why are you hiding yourselves?” asks one of the men.

“We aren’t hiding ourselves,” says Reason, “I am from a human rights organisation. I’ve come to assist this man, Yahaya Kassim. What queue should he be in?”

A man whisks Kassim away, hoping perhaps that if he gets him in the queue we will be happy and leave.Another man with a sjambok says: “Three of you came here for one guy to get his papers? This sounds very suspicious to me.”

I ask: “Are you all working for Home Affairs?”

“No, we work for the police,” claims one man with a black leather jacket and a sjambok.

“Why don’t they give you uniforms?” I ask.

“Because we are fighting crime here. There is too much theft and you can’t fight crime in uniform,” he says.

“Why do you need a sjambok?” I ask.

“Because these people don’t listen,” he says.“Home Affairs only wants to see 1 000 people each day,” he says. “We put people in queues of 50 each and line them up near the road (DF Malan Drive).”

The remaining people are in two winding queues of about another 1 000 people, one for men and one for
women.

All of them are applying for or renewing asylum permits, which means that for economic or political reasons, they have been forced to leave Zimbabwe.

There are more than 50 babies in the women’s queue alone.

“I got here at 5am. I don’t have much hope of getting inside today,” says a woman.

A man named Memory says people spend the night at Marabastad, burning tyres and cardboard to keep warm in the bitter cold, because they know this is their only chance to make it into the right queue and into the building.

“It’s the worst at 2.30am or 3am,” he says.

“These guys use their sjamboks to wake us up. Then they start collecting bribes and putting people who can pay into the first queue.”

At the end of the queue, there’s a tout managing the process – without a sjambok.

Reason tells the tout that he wants to help someone get asylum papers and asks if she can help him get to the front of the queue.She offers to put him up front for R150 – R75 for her and R75 for a police officer to facilitate.

Reason says he’ll get back to her. She gives him her name and phone number.It’s now about 6.20am and the sun is rising behind the Pretoria skyline. Marabastad is only a few blocks from downtown Pretoria.

Later, when the sun is up, you can see the Union Buildings in the distance.

A few of the group of 1 000 at the front are now being led across DF Malan Drive. They are not walking across the street; they are running.The men with sjamboks have told them to run.

The thwack, thwack of the sjambok against legs and buttocks turns my attention to the back of the queue, where another man is at work.

The sign next to the front gate reads: “Together, building a caring, compassionate and responsive Home Affairs.”

We watch as people run across the street and along the perimeter fence of the property: women with babies on their backs, young and old men.

It looks more like an army camp than a place where foreign nationals apply for papers.These are the lucky ones: they managed to get inside the gate.

Hundreds of others will wait outside in the veld for another day or longer.Inside the gates, there is continued commotion. One hears the thwack of the sjambok again and again. People run from one side of the yard to the other.

By now it’s close to 7am.Except for the police van parked on the corner of DF Malan Drive and Struben Street, we haven’t seen anyone involved who is in uniform.

Both Home Affairs and the police will be able to deny that they have anything to do with this harsh treatment.

We wait in the veld across the road from the front gate. A man in green overalls and a dark-blue beanie with a sjambok counts a pile of notes.

He hands some of the money to a woman at the front gate in a blue jersey bearing the name of a security company.

After 8am, not knowing exactly where Kassim is, Reason calls him.

He’s with the group that is sitting on the pavement inside the Home Affairs yard.

Hoping that he will make progress, we go into downtown Pretoria to make photocopies and to get breakfast.

When we come back at 10.20am, there are still hundreds of people waiting in the veld.We walk along Struben Street over to the area where Kassim is sitting.

By now, the sun is high and it’s hot. Reason tries to pass some fruit, two doughnuts and a drink through the fence.

The security guard says: “No, you can’t give him anything.”

Reason asks: “Why not?”

To which the guard replies: “They aren’t allowed food.”

Reason retorts: “But they aren’t prisoners.”

About 20 minutes later, security guards tell Kassim and his group of about 200 people that they have to leave the premises.

They will have to come back tomorrow.

A man shows the guards his prosthetic leg, but they don’t budge. “Go,” they say, pointing to the gate.

“Go!” Reason and Ishmael talk through the fence, trying to understand.

“Why are you telling everyone to leave?”

One guard says: “We are understaffed.”

Kassim does not protest.

Not able to speak much English, he has survived multiple traumas – first being burnt on the face then spending 10 days in hospital, leaving his wife and two children behind in Zimbabwe, and now having to navigate South Africa’s Home Affairs department.

Reason decides to speak to the manager of Marabastad Home Affairs. He goes to the front gate and I go with him.

We are stopped by the guard and another man in a brown Home Affairs shirt calls from behind: “They are prohibited.  Those two are prohibited.”

We move away, but Reason tries to continue the conversation through the fence.

Two guards engage in the conversation – the man in the brown Home Affairs shirt and the woman who said that they were understaffed.“We are from a human rights organisation,” says Reason.

“We are helping this man with medical care. We brought him here and he needs assistance.” Eventually, they let Kassim back in at about 11.15am.

About three hours later, Reason calls Kassim to find out about his progress. He is going to have an interview. An hour after that, at 3.30pm, the electricity goes out in the building and he is told to come back the next day to finish the process.After close to 10 hours, Kassim still doesn’t have his asylum papers.

He does have hope, however, that it will be issued the next day. (After going back to Marabastad for another long and difficult day, he does receive an asylum document, but has to renew after a month). Memory, who slept in the veld overnight, isn’t so hopeful.

Without someone arguing his case and with no money to pay a bribe, he has been sliding to the back of the queue for more than a week. “Please help us,” he says, “please tell people what is happening at this place.”

» Kuljian is a freelance writer, a 2010 Ruth First Fellow, and is working on a book about migration and the Central Methodist Church in Joburg

“Making the Invisible Visible, a Story of Central Methodist Church,” Ruth First Memorial Lecture, Johannesburg Salon, Volume Three

“The Congress of the People and the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication: From Public Deliberation to Bureaucratic Imposition in Kliptown,” Social Dynamics, Vol. 35, No. 2

“Remembering a man who stood for change,” A personal reflection on Senator Kennedy in South Africa, The Weekender