Returning to Armenia
In three days, we’ll be off to Armenia again. A lot has changed since we first started working on Rebirth Armenia last year, so here’s a few updates on what we’ll be working on this time around.
This year we’ve decided to focus in on two main projects. The first is Borderlands, a writing and photography project that tells the stories of the people living in villages on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. These villagers are targeted by Azeri bullets every day in their homes, at school and everywhere they go. This year we’ll be spending a week traveling to various border villages to meet and photograph the residents. We are currently working on a draft of a book about the project, so we hope to see that sometime in the next few years. We’ll also be teaming up with the Ayo! Foundation to support their project to provide backpacks and school supplies for the children in these villages.
The second major project we’ll be focusing on is Not on Any Map, which documents the people and stories of Artsakh. We’ll be spending a week staying in Shushi with Saro Saryan, director of the Geology Museum and local entrepreneur who we met last year, and traveling from there to different parts of Artsakh to see some of its historical sights and meet people who are important in the development and society of the region.
In addition, we will be spending more than a week staying in Yerevan. Like the last time we came to Armenia to work as election observers, we’ll be renting apartments and exploring the city on our own. We plan to take a short trip from Yerevan to Gyumri to get to know another Armenian city, as well as taking trips to Ijevan and Kotayk to visit the SOS children’s villages there. In Yerevan, we’re planning to spend more time getting to know the city, collecting travel information, and reconnecting with people we met last year.
Another exciting update about our trip is that we’ll be doing it without a guide. This will mean pushing the limits of our slowly growing Armenian vocabularies, navigating the country on our own, and exploring budget travel options like the system of marshrutkas, or soviet-style buses, to travel between cities.
We’ll be updating our website and social media pages as we continue our journey, so stay tuned to experience more of Armenia with us!