"Karabakh. Life without war"
Nagorno-Karabakh is a big project that i started to film in 2007. It is also very personal to me because it began much earlier in my life. Back in 1989 my parents fled the city of Baku in a hurry after packing their clothes, dishes, books and some food in cars. They were born in that town. And so was I.
I was just a little girl when i was told that a war could brake out at any moment. We hardly settled in Russia when something terrible happened in Baku.
As i grew up, i realized that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan was so complex and irresolvable that the likelihood of me visiting my hometown was close to impossible. So i took my camera and went to my grand parents' Motherland - Nagorno-Karabakh. I wanted to find out why people kill each other and why wars happen. Could it be because of this small area that Armenians call Artsah, that is translated as the "Blooming garden"?
Nagorno-Karabakh made an incredibly strong impression on me during my first visit! Even though the war ended many years ago, many villages were still destroyed and houses in towns stood damaged with burned out windows... Karabakh would seem to have turned into an empty and lifeless place if it wasn't for the people - men, women, children, who did not leave; who lived on the land of their ancestors before the war, during the war and continue to live there to this day... Indeed, all they can do is to keep on living and slowly rebuilding the country with their own effort. Such people won't back down, won't give up, and will prevail!
I'd been going there for three years, from 2007 to 2009. I used every opportunity i had to visit the place. I saw how towns and villages were coming back to life - slowly and yet unavoidably overcoming the hardships... I had taken hundreds of pictures trying to capture faces of the true owners of those lands (for history?)...The world economic crisis made me halt my travels. But i cannot forget what i've seen and cannot abandon what overwhelms my heart and soul. I feel i must continue filming in order to finish the very first photo album of the postwar generation of people who live on the small area called Nagorno-Karabakh. Or rather - Artsah, the Blooming garden.