Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

100 years after Armenian Genocide, photographer brings survivors into the light

Markosyan (3)

The prestigious huffingtonpost.com referred to Armenian photographer Diana Markosyan’s photo project dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. This year’s centennial of the tragic events has made historians, writers and artists to revisit again the past, remembering massacres and deportations of Armenians carried out by the Ottomans beginning in 1915. Exhibitions around the world have revealed many archive materials exploring Armenian culture and the aftermath of the genocide.

Diana Markosian, an Armenian-American photographer whose work includes topics about the life of young Muslim girls in Chechnya and the legacy of Virgin Mary.

Her project “1915” currently is exhibited at New York University’s Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. The project refers to three living genocide survivors who virtually going through the live they left behind, thinking about their loss. In October 2014 Markosian set out to find genocide survivors residing in Armenia. She met 10 survivors, but only 3 of them had fresh memories about their lives before the genocide took place. Markosian traveled back to the sites they fled from but which they still remembered. In an attempt to retrieve pieces of their lost homelands, she brought back mural-sized panels capturing potent landscapes from Turkey and displayed them in the places these survivors now live.
When Haneshyan, who is now 105 years old, looked at the photograph of his childhood home, “he paused and then started dancing towards this image,” Markosian recounts. It was the very moment the photographer hoped to capture when embarking on this project.
She went on to photograph all three survivors encountering the images from their past. “They’ve been in exile and a century later can see and still recognize their homes,” noted Markosyan.

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