Curators: Refik Akyüz, Serdar Darendeliler [Geniş Açı Project Office]
24 April-22 May 2016, DEPO
“1915” is a series of photographs and videos by Armenian American photographer Diana Markosian that aims to reconnect the living survivors of the genocide - Movses, Yepraksia and Mariam who are at the last stages of their long lives - with their homelands they had to escape from a century ago. Markosian was born in Moscow during the last days of the USSR and has moved to the U.S. with her mother and younger brother. The photographer met three survivors who were born in different regions of the Ottoman Empire and now over 100 years old, and asked them about their very last memories of their homelands. She tried to fulfill their wishes such as leaving a portrait among the ruins of a church they used to visit or bringing a handful of earth to be put in their graves. Markosian intending to recreate experiences with the help of photographs and videos, took pictures of the current situation of the survivors’ villages, and had them printed in very large sizes and photographed Movses, Yepraksia and Mariam in front of these panels. In a way Markosian helped these three people to revive their long gone memories of their homelands.
“1915” is a documentation of certain fragments from present-day lives of Movses, Yepraksia and Mariam in Armenia and Markosian’s discoveries during her trips to the survivors’ villages which was guided by what they told her. Documents such as telegrams, pictures from old family albums, family tree drawings and maps, and objects which may help to evoke the atmosphere of their current living spaces make up an important part of “1915”. In this sense the exhibition is ultimately a personal record of longing for homeland, keeping the connections, possessions held and things lost.
Diana Markosian (1989) is a photographer whose images explore the relationship between memory and place. She received her master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism at the age of 20. Her work has since taken her to some of the most remote corners of the world, where she has worked on both personal and editorial work. She has participated in the Joop Swart Masterclass organized by World Press Photo and is the winner of Magnum Emerging Photographer Fund in 2013. Her images can be found in publications like National Geographic Magazine, The New Yorker and The New York Times.