The New Face of Poverty in Armenia


Upcoming Exhibit and Book Examine Families on the Brink

Sara Anjargolian. ©2009, All rights reservedLOS ANGELES—In the wake of the global recession, poverty has come to afflict much of Armenia once again. For the first time in over a decade, poverty increased in Armenia in 2009, with as many as half of Armenia’s residents now living below the poverty line and unable to meet basic food, shelter and healthcare needs. And yet, these families continue their struggle to live, carving out an existence at society’s margins where people regularly live off garbage dumps, children battle malnutrition, and families sleep in barns and tin shacks.

On March 26 and 27, How We Live, a special exhibit by photographer Sara Anjargolian, will open in Los Angeles at Casitas Studios. Produced in collaboration with the Tufenkian Foundation and designed by Narineh Mirzaeian, the How We Live exhibit and accompanying book document the lives of families struggling with poverty in Armenia. Through immersive photography, multimedia vignettes and video interviews, How We Live explores in compelling detail the challenges these families face every day, as well as the socio-economic and political factors behind the perpetuation of poverty.

After living and working in Armenia for over two years, Anjargolian traveled back to Armenia in July of 2009, on assignment for the Tufenkian Foundation, to document the poverty crisis. The exhibit, curated by Narineh Mirzaeian, a Los Angeles based designer working with Frank Gehry’s firm and who has volunteered extensively in Armenia, is conceived as an experience immersing the viewer in the lives of those portrayed.

How We Live will benefit the Tufenkian Foundation’s social protection programs, primarily Zangakatun—a network of agencies that provide beneficiary families with counseling, legal advice, psychiatric treatment, and other assistance addressing the factors underlying social vulnerability. The families featured in the exhibit are all currently benefiting from the Foundation’s programs.

How We Live
March 27, 2010
(Special Donor Preview Reception March 26)

Casitas Studios
3229 Casitas Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039

For further information, please visit

For Friday evening donor preview reception tickets and book pre-purchase go to:

For Saturday evening tickets and book pre-purchase go to:

Tickets: $25 pre-sale; $30 at the event Book: $40 pre-sale; $50 at the event

Proceeds from the event benefit the Tufenkian Foundation’s work in Armenia connecting these families and hundreds of others to crucial support needed to break their cycles of poverty and neglect.

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

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