Yerevan as a capital city has lost many elements of urban culture and identity because companies have privatized its public spaces. The latter were destroyed and expropriated.
When Private Invades the Public
Though this small town called Zod is amid 2 huge factories, all the locals are choking on the dusty air and have devastating health problems.
Zod is Dying in Silence
What similarities did Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have in the '90s? This retrospective photo story depicts the household items of the 1990s, most of which, were novel for these newly independent countries at the time, but outdated today.
Made In The ‘90s
Since the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011 around 17,000 Syrian refugees have moved to Armenia. Most of them are Christian Armenians who found asylum in what they felt was their fatherland, but little did they imagine, how hard it would become.
“In Armenia We Have Learned to Live Differently”
Among the large variety of transportation means - luxury SUVs, modest sedanes and modern convenient minivans, etc - one can notice distinguishable yellowish and round small buses that move people from place to place in Armenia. Produced over 50 years ago in the Soviet Union, these cars, called PAZ, serve the needs of the people till today. Piruza Khakapyan and Nazik Armenakyan take us on a journey from Artik to Yerevan in one of the few remaining PAZ buses, which are still in use. Even though it is not the only means of transportation, villagers see it as the safest one, since they trust the driver. The latter, 52 year old Farhadi has been driving this bus for already 20 years. When he started, there were many other PAZ buses in Armenia, like in other Post-Soviet countries. During the journey which lasts for almost three hours, the yellow 'Pazik' transforms into a public space where people share their stories and worries.
The Yellow Buses of the Past
It was 1991. The USSR was on life support, the heads of the last three republics – Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus – gathered to put a final nail into the coffin of the socialist dream that turned into a nightmare. I was only 8, just a kid, yet old enough to understand that the world around me was changing forever. At that age, everything dissolves into the children’s game. Those years, our daily life around that dramatic turning point, and the emotions my parents felt and inevitably passed onto me, shaped the memories which are dear to me. One of my dearest is of my mother’s dress, I’d call it her Soviet dress. It has been in her wardrobe since the early 1980s.
Dressing Like a Soviet
Yazidis know well what the fight to survival is. As it has struggled with oppression and discrimination throughout the centuries, the community has grown to shun integration, choosing to keep itself in isolation to preserve its traditions and beliefs. With this isolation, comes a lack of education. There are over 35,000 Yazidis living in Armenia with about 20 villages fully populated by Yazidis, yet only 5,300 pupils are enrolled across the country. Of them, only 35 percent are girls.
“Twenty-four hours [a day], we are here so that we can sell the whole harvest,” elaborates Susanna Yeghyan, 56. “Every second, our life is threatened on this road. Though, there are no shootings. But, anyway, we are in front of the enemy.”
Armenia’s Highway Vendors: Dealing with Danger
For many men, the answer is bound up with tradition: toughness and bravery, independence and self-control. Being a man is loyalty, patriotism and strength, inner and physical. In a region long caught between the ebb and flow of competing empires – Russian, Ottoman, Persian and others – a man’s role is to fight, defend his homeland, and protect and provide for his family.