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Diamanda Galás – Orders from the Dead

Diamanda Galás (born August 29, 1955) is an American avant-garde composer, vocalist, pianist, organist, performance artist, and painter. she was born and raised in San Diego, California, to Greek Orthodox parents. She studied a wide range of musical forms, and played gigs in San Diego with her father, also a musician, performing Greek and Arabic music.

Galás has been described as “capable of the most unnerving vocal terror.” Her works largely concentrate on the topics of AIDS, mental illness, despair, injustice, condemnation, and loss of dignity. She has worked with many avant-garde composers, including Iannis Xenakis, Vinko Globokar and John Zorn, and also collaborated with jazz musician Bobby Bradford, and John Paul Jones, former bassist of Led Zeppelin.

In late 2003, Diamanda Galás released the album Defixiones, Will and Testament: Orders from the Dead, an 80-minute memorial tribute to the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek victims of the genocide in Turkey. “The performance is an angry meditation on genocide and the politically cooperative denial of it, in particular the Turkish and American denial of the Armenian, Assyrian, and Anatolian Greek genocides from 1914 to 1923”.


The Greek genocide, part of which is known as the Pontic genocide, was the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Christian Ottoman Greek population from its historic homeland in Asia Minor, central Anatolia, Pontus, and the former Russian Caucasus province of Kars Oblast during World War I and its aftermath (1914–23).

It was instigated by the government of the Ottoman Empire against the Greek population of the Empire and it included massacres, forced deportations involving death marches, summary expulsions, arbitrary execution, and the destruction of Christian Orthodox cultural, historical, and religious monuments.

The Ottoman authorities are accused of having planned and instigated the massacre and ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Greeks of Anatolia on the pretext that like the Armenians many Pontic Greeks and Caucasus Greeks had fought in or collaborated with Russian forces on the Caucasus Front of the First World War and then with Britain’s ally the Kingdom of Greece, which invaded and occupied a large part of western Anatolia in the 1919-22 Greco-Turkish War.

This pretext was used despite the fact that most of the victims of the genocide were clearly innocent civilians, including women and children, and were often from parts of Anatolia where ethnic Greeks had not traditionally had many close links with the Russian Empire or from those that were far removed from the main theatre of the Greek-Turkish War 1919-22.

According to various sources, several hundred thousand Ottoman Greeks died during this period. It began at the same time as the Armenian Genocide and is considered by many scholars to have been part of the same genocidal policy.

Most of the refugees and survivors fled to Greece (amounting to over a quarter of the prior population of Greece), some, especially those in Eastern provinces, took refuge in the neighbouring Russian Empire.

Thus by the end of the 1919–22 Greco-Turkish War, most of the Greeks of Asia Minor had fled or been killed, those remaining were transferred to Greece under the terms of the later 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, which formalized the exodus and barred the return of the refugees.

Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Armenians, and some scholars and organizations have recognized these events as part of the same policy of extermination.

The Allies of World War I condemned the Ottoman government-sponsored massacres as crimes against humanity. More recently, the International Association of Genocide Scholars passed a resolution in 2007 affirming that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire, including the Greeks, was genocide. Some other organisations have also passed resolutions recognising the campaign as a genocide, as have the parliaments of Greece, Cyprus and Sweden.


Det er nå 95 år siden folkemordet på armenerne fant sted. Hele 1.5 millioner armenere, som vil si hele 75 % av befolkningen, samt millioner av assyrere, arameere, grekere og trakere ble drept. Hatpropaganda og overgrep kulminerte med et scenario av vold og terror.

Diamanda Galás (født 29. august 1955 i San Diego, California) er en avantgarde-sanger, keyboardist og komponist. Hun er kjent for sin traktering av piano samt sin distinktive stemme som spenner over tre og en halv oktav. Hun bruker ofte skrik, ul og later til å imitere tungetale i sine opptredener.

Arbeidene hennes, inkludert albumet Defixiones, Will and Testament: Orders from the Dead, et 80-minutters minnesmerke til de armenske, assyriske og pontisk greske ofrene for tyrkernes folkemord fra august 2004, konsentrerer seg stort sett om emner som lidelse, desperasjon, fordømmelse, urettferdighet og tap av verdighet. Albumet Defixiones refererer til advarsler på greske gravsteiner mot å fjerne levningene av de døde

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