We Are Still Here is a mural on the corner of Winona and Hollywood Blvd in Little Armenia. Painted in 2015 by Armenian street artist, Artoon, it commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide where 700,000 to 1.5 million Armenians where murdered at the hands of the Ottoman government in 1915.
The mural which depicts the artist’s grandmother, the Armenian genocide, and smoke with victim’s faces, takes up a wall on the side of what was once Panos Armenian Bakery. Today, the mural still exists but the building is now a breakfast and brunch restaurant called Friends & Family which opened in 2017.
Little Armenia is a cultural enclave of East Hollywood where many Armenian people settled after escaping the genocide. The area serves it population with Armenian restaurants like Zankou Chicken and Carousel as well as Armenian grocery stores and the St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church. There are approximately 153,000 people of Armenian descent living in Los Angeles. Little Armenia serves as a reminder of the Armenian population’s contributions to the city and a place to express and affirm their identity. Every April, thousands of people march through the streets of Little Armenia and head to the Turkish Consulate to ask for justice and commemorate the genocide.
The mural is a reminder of the suffering and resilience of the Armenian diaspora which continues to thrive in Los Angeles.
“The community loves it,” says Artoon, the mural’s artist. “So many people message me saying, ‘this is not your grandma; this is our grandma.’”
The mural is a reminder that we can't forget the horrors of the past, and it's the responsibility of the surviving generations to remember We Are Still Here.