Photo Exhibition: Ruben Mangasaryan
A retrospective photo exhibition titled "Black Life" by award-winning Armenian photojournalist and documentary photographer Ruben Mangasaryan (1963-2009) opened at the Art Gallery on the evening of Sept. 16 in Yerevan, Armenia.
Mangasaryan shot the story "Black Life," which won several awards and was published in Days of Japan magazine and BCC Online, from 2003 to 2009. The project documents the life of an Armenian family that fled the war over Nagorno Karabakh for the village of Bagratashan.
News Web site armtown.com writes:
The Gadyans' Black Life is about extreme poverty, trauma and squalor. The family stove, fueled chiefly by plastic, has a leaking stovepipe that lets heavy smoke into the home, coating everything and everyone with soot.
Lida Gadyan, 45, is a refugee from Baku, Azerbaijan where she washed dishes in a canteen. In the 1990s, Lida fled to Bagratashen with her son and mother; her husband left her. In her first decade in Armenia, Lida worked as a prostitute, giving birth to seven children in the process. She left two of them at the hospital, another was stillborn and yet another died of hunger at five months.
Mangasaryan, who was teaching photography at the Caucasus Institute, was one of the most well-known and respected photojournalists in Armenia. He created Patker Photo Agency and his work has been seen at the annual prestigious Visa Pour l'Image photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France. Mangasaryan died suddenly on March 21, 2009.
"Black Life" will run until Sept. 30.
Anahit Hayrapetyan is a freelance photojournalist based in Yerevan.