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Swallows and Armenians

Artist, curator and writer Karen Babayan takes us on an adventure through the Arthur Ransome Archive in this lunchtime talk.

Discover the unexpected inspiration for Arthur Ransome’s much loved Swallows and Amazons. Through new multi-disciplinary artworks, Karen Babyan explores the relationship between Ransome and the Altounyans, an Anglo-Armenian family from Aleppo, Syria. This ethnically diverse family were part of the genesis for his iconic series of children’s books.

Babayan's work includes an Artist’s Map-Book commissioned by Leeds University Library Special Collections.

Karen aims to establish the Altounyan-Swallows-Ransome connection and celebrate the contribution of the Altounyan family to the cultural history of the Lake District.

Image: Karen Babayan, Swallows in Aleppo (detail), 2019. Digital print on aluminium. Image credit: use of photograph for artwork by permission of the Guzelian family.