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Lydia Kasparian


Beauties of Armenia

At a time when Armenia is fighting desperately to try to keep its territory. As thousands of young soldiers perished in a disproportionate war in 2020 between Armenia and Azerbaijan and its ally Turkey, financed by gas from Baku, I made a large number of images , with my father Roger Kasparian, renowned photographer, and my son Norvan Kasparian, between 2020 and 2022.

We want to document Christian Armenia by showing the ancestral presence of this peaceful and repeatedly martyred people on their lands, and to use the words of Mr Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, he wants to “drive them out like dogs ”.

My images show that the Armenians are neither dogs nor barbarians: they are builders of monasteries, they are great artists, painters, musicians, poets, craftsmen, shepherds, traders… genocidated and expelled several times from their country.

As a second genocide looms, I wish to show Armenia in all its splendor, its dignity, its fervor. Armenia has no gas to offer: it has its humanity.

I wish to publish and exhibit these photos in order to make this dramatic situation known.

My grandfather, a survivor of the 1915 Genocide, was a photographer, my mother too, and my son, 12-year-old Norvan, will be a photographer.

I wanted to go to Armenia for the first time in November 2020: in the middle of winter, in the middle of Covid and in the middle of the war. We made this trip at 3, father, daughter and grandson, cameras in hand and did everything we could to capture the emotions of this people martyred for the nth time. Then we returned 4 times, appalled by the eternal repetition of this dramatic story, this determination to want to destroy Christian Armenia.

Armenia is reduced to a skin of grief which dwindles over the years, relentlessly nibbled away by its insatiable neighbors, Azerbaijan and Turkey. The high mountainous plateau that is Armenia testifies to a thousand-year-old history. Our photos are intended to reflect this history.

Lydia Kasparian

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