Like every kid, the Muradov brothers had their wish for the New Year; they wanted a sister. It came true on January 1; Semiramida was born. She is the 4th child in a family in Upper Dvin; one of the few Assyrian-populated villages in Armenia.
Every year thousands of women become victims of domestic violence in Armenia. Hasmik Khachatryan was beaten by her husband for 9 years. She was among the few that, despite the violence of 9 years, found the strength to overcome the fear of going to court, and demanding her husband Sargis Hakobyan to be held accountable.
Life Without Violence
Nairit was a powerful rubber producing factory during the USSR. The collapse of the latter destroyed both the factory and the hopes related to it. Gradually it stopped working, and due to an irresponsible and ineffective administration, debts accumulated. Now the factory owes 18 months of salary to its workers.
While environmentalists demand a shutdown of the the Armenian nuclear power plant, the government has recently extended its exploitation for another 10 years.
The Power Giant
In a suburb of Yerevan, near the Railway station, every night a lot of people gather from different regions of Armenia. They don’t come to take a train for a journey, not even for a visit to their distant relatives. They are gathering here to sell their fresh and luscious harvest gained as a result of their hard work.
Hard work, Low Income
Socio-political graffiti in the streets of Yerevan; this is how the "Hakaharvats"(Counterblow) street art group expresses its protest. The members represent a generation of independence and consider themselves anarchists.
Anarchy, Politics and Art
From seed to salad, the agricultural system in the South Caucasus is a shadow of its past. While large scale agriculture is slowly being rebuilt across the region, most farmers are just a step above subsistence. Harvesting and selling these crops requires improvisation and personal relationship at every step. To understand the challenges and people behind this supply chain, Chaikhana profiled farmers and sellers of a simple vegetable - the humble eggplant - in each of the three countries.
The frequent shootings from the both sides of the border don't allow the people living in the borderline villages to engage normally in their agricultural work. For the villagers, this is the main source of their livelihoods.
Life and Work Under the Line of Fire
The address of 120 Grigor Zohrab is famously known as 'The Dog Shelter.' 7 out of 8 families living here are refugees from Azerbaijan. They still do not have an apartments of their own. Last September they were informed that the construction of the shelter will resume. To live next to the trained dogs is arguably difficult. They say, "In every family there are children, and families are growing. There will be no place for children to play in the daytime and no sleep for us at night."
In a 'Dog Shelter'
The H1N1 virus seems to be a regional threat, as it has been detected both in Armenia and in Georgia. The situation in these countries peaked in January 2016. Up to this day 17 people died and 358 have officially been diagnosed with the flu. In Armenia the image is slightly different; 19 dead and more over a 1000 infected.
Swine Flu Outbreak in the region
It has already been a year since the everyday life of Rind village has changed, thanks to the entrepreneurial talent of Artur Grigoryan and Ruzan Kostanyan. This couple has been developing the village by combining tourism and business. They are working hard to make the village interesting, not only for the tourists, but for the villagers themselves. Artur and Ruzan produce wine, lavash, and dried fruits, and have a guest house.
A Family that Livens Up The Village
Medialab is one the very few news outlets in Armenia, which aside from standard types of materials, also produces political caricatures. However, it turns out to be a dangerous task, as some of their artists must even work undercover. The website was recently hacked, their car damaged, and the cartoons were stolen by those who were strangely afraid of the pictures.
Vanadzor does not top Armenia’s touristic routes for its natural beauty. Yet, the country’s third largest city was once called “the green town” as it lays on the slopes of the Pamback mountain range, covered with forests and it abounds with mineral waters, making the town of 82,000 a popular thermal resort.
Boo! Armenia’s mountain biking adventure
It is a regular mantra - “in Soviet times everything was better” or “In Soviet times we did this or that…” Twenty-five years since the communist design melted, either longing for it or loathing it is still common among citizens of any country across the post-Soviet space.
Yerevan’s Soviet Cafes
Narine Avetisyan knew the switch to digital broadcasting was a threat to the TV channel she directs, so did the editors of over a dozen of small, regional broadcasters across Armenia - and they fought it every step of the way. To no avail - when the analogue transmission was cut off in November 2016 the editor of Lori TV, in the northern city of Vanadzor, was left with no options as the channel she heads was unable to apply for the swap and move onto digital broadcasting. As it happens, no competition for the license was ever organized and politics meddled in.
Switching off Media’s Diversity in Armenia
Holes dot the tarmac, there are so many that the passageway hardly looks like a road - yet that four-kilometre strip from the Gyumri Armavir highway is a lifeline for the 500-odd residents of Haykadzor, a settlement sitting right on the border dividing Turkey and Armenia.
The Price of a Closed Border
Living in a patriarchal and militarized society, while personally rejecting the accepted social values, one burns to talk about other values and yet senses the ever-present threat of rejection. From these ideas was born 27-year-old Arpy Balyan’s “I Talk to You and You Don’t Hear Me”, an antimilitarist, feminist-inspired art project. It is a way to affirm her ideas and demonstrate that her thoughts remain unanswered within the society where she lives. Though she speaks out where others stay silent, she feels that she is not really heard.
Talking Back to the Surrounding Silence
The number 29 on the sign should be changed to 30, as 30 years have passed since 64 refugee families moved into Hotel 'Nairi'. Today, the hotel is home to three generations, including the grandchildren and the children of the people who were forced to flee Azerbaijan in the 1980s, during the period leading to the Karabakh conflict. Despite the years of waiting, they have not lost hope that one day they will be given houses in Armenia.
Room Number 707
If you are from the LGBTIQ community in conservative Armenia, it is difficult to ‘be yourself.’ Often individuals from this community fight against themselves to come to terms with their sexuality, only to keep on struggling once they decide to come out with their families and the wider society. Yet, people like Elvira, Liz, and Rima believe that standing up for who you are is the only path to your own happiness.