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Exhibition: The Stamp of Loneliness

When Jan 24, 2017 09:00 to
Feb 28, 2017 06:00
Where Exhibition Hall, University Library
Contact Name
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“Do you know what it’s like to be alone? I am alone” said Lorena, one of the girls that the photojournalist, Nazik Armenakyan, photographed for her long-term documentary project (2010-2013) on transgender community in Armenia. The photo exhibition “The Stamp of Loneliness” presents singular stories of the everyday life and struggles of a community of cross-dressers and transgender women who engage in sex work in Yerevan. The “girls”, as Nazik refers to them, represent the most vulnerable and at-risk group in Armenia. Upon the completion of the project, local galleries refused to exhibit Nazik’s work, and one of the local politicians even denounced it as Western propaganda. In the end, she managed to display the photographs in a self-published book with the help of a grant by the Open Society Foundation in 2013.

The exhibition rests upon numerous important themes of gender and LGBTQ, inequality and ostracism, as well as accepted femininities and masculinities, the themes that are not only prominent within the context of the post-Soviet space, but dominate the seemingly democratized and liberalized societies in the West. The goal of the exhibition, which will not only display photographs but also integrate two short documentaries including one by Amy Mackinnon “TransMoskva”, is to render visible the individuals with the ordinary wishes and struggles that are hidden behind the make-up and lush clothing. It seeks to overcome the prejudice of trans people while engaging in an open discussion. Although at the core of the exhibition lie such themes as gender and identity particularly in the post-Soviet region, it will also raise questions that touch upon broader aspects of belonging, orientalization and alterity relevant for a conception of the post-Cold-War world.

Opening of the exhibition: Tue, 24 January 2017, 6pm, University Library (6 weeks)


//Nazik Armenakyan has been working as a photojournalist since 2002. In 2004-2005 after completing photojournalism course organized by the Caucasus Institute and World Press Photo in Yerevan, Armenia, she began to have an interest in doing long-term documentary projects. In 2009, she won the Grand Prix award and first place in the “People and Faces” for her first long-term photo project “Survivors”, a series of portraits of survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, a category at the Karl Bulla International Photo Contest in Russia.

In 2011, Nazik was awarded a Magnum Foundation Human Rights & Photography Fellowship to study at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In the same year, she received a Documentary Photography Production grant from the Open Society Foundations for her second ongoing project on LGBT people and the community in Armenia that she began in 2010. Nazik has participated in several projects and exhibitions.

Nazik is one of the founders of the 4 Plus Documentary Photography Center, which aims to develop Armenian documentary photography and empowering women through photography in Armenia.

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