Moving Exhibit Connects Visitors to Life on Armenia’s Margins
Los Angeles—More than 600 Angelenos were transported to Armenia last weekend through How We Live, a mixed-media exhibit exploring the lives of impoverished families on the margins of Armenian society. The exhibit’s centerpiece was over forty 5’ x 7’ photographs printed as translucent screens and suspended throughout Casitas Studios’ large gallery space. The prints were arranged so as to immerse visitors in the lives and homes of the families being documented. The response, from guests of all stripes, was electric.
Sara Anjargolian, the photographer behind the show, initially conceived of the project as a way to raise awareness of poverty in Armenia, especially in the wake of the recent recession. She worked with architect Narineh Mirzaeian, who designed and curated the exhibition. The project was also supported by numerous colleagues who volunteered their time and talents. The event was sponsored by the NY-based Tufenkian Foundation, and proceeds from the event will benefit the Foundation’s ‘Zangakatun’ Social Services Program, which helps families such as those depicted to step out of poverty and reintegrate into Armenian society.
The event drew a diverse crowd, many of whom were previously unfamiliar with the poverty crisis in the small Caucasian nation.
The striking photography didn’t just portray people living in wretched conditions. It connected visitors to their hopes and struggles. Rather than leaving the viewer feeling distanced or isolated, the images (along with multi-media vignettes and a documentary film) fostered identification, and the experience was powerful. Guests left the event energized, and many were eager to get involved.
“We are gratified by the initial success of this exhibit,” noted Tufenkian Foundation director Antranig Kasbarian. “It demonstrates that Armenia’s hardships, alongside its triumphs, can move people toward involvement with the country in ways that are meaningful. Far from being a turn-off, this exhibit has brought people even closer to the country.”
Following the enthusiastic response, Casitas Studios has announced that it will continue to host the exhibit through April 18, to offer additional attendees the opportunity to visit.
How We Live
To arrange a viewing, contact Info@HowWeLive.org
The Tufenkian Foundation was founded in 1998 by entrepreneur James Tufenkian to promote social justice in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh. For more information on the Foundation’s work, please visit www.TufenkianFoundation.org.
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