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Diana Markosian
Diana Markosian
Diana Markosian

Diana Markosian

Country: Russia
Birth: 1989

Diana Markosian is an American and Russian artist of Armenian descent, working as a documentary photographer, writer, and filmmaker.

She is known for her photo essays, including Inventing My Father, about her relationship with her father, and 1915, about the Armenian genocide.

Markosian was born in Moscow. In 1996, she moved to California with her mother and her brother, while her father remained in Russia. She had no contact with him until 23, when she found her father in Armenia, after 15 years of being apart.

Markosian graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oregon with a bachelor of arts in history and international studies in 2008, and earned a Master of Science from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2010 at the age of 20.

In 2011, Markosian was sent to Azerbaijan as a photojournalist for Bloomberg News, but she was denied entrance to the country, which was at war with Armenia at the time.[citation needed] Markosian is of Armenian descent but not a citizen of Armenia. The authorities said they couldn't provide her with the "security" she would need because of her Armenian last name.

Markosian began her career at 20. Her editorial and personal work has taken her to some of the most remote corners of the world. She worked on assignments for publications including National Geographic Magazine, The New Yorker and The New York Times. For her first assignment for National National Geographic Magazine in 2015, she was commissioned to explore the power and legacy of the Virgin Mary. This ability to photograph "things that are no longer there"[citation needed] has become a signature of her work. Her images have since been published by The Financial Times, World Policy Journal, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Times, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, amongst other publications.

She won the Columbia School of Journalism's annual photography prize, and was chosen as a duPont Fellow. She was selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass from World Press Photo and was the winner of the Magnum Emerging Photographer Fund in 2013. In 2015, she was selected as the first recipient of the Chris Hondros Emerging Photographer Award. The same year, the British Journal of Photography selected her in its global survey of "Ones to Watch". In 2016, Markosian became a nominee member of Magnum Photos. In 2018, she was awarded the Elliott Erwitt Fellowship to travel to Cuba, where she documented the coming of age of young girls in Havana. The work she created was exhibited as a solo show at the Grand Palais in Paris Photo and Photo Espana. She was awarded 1st Place in Contemporary Issues from World Press Photo for an image of Pura, a young girl who was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a child, and was photographed celebrating her quinceanera.

Source: wikipedia



About 1915

Holding a cane in his right hand, Movses Haneshyan, 105, slowly approaches a life-size landscape.

He pauses, looks at the image, and begins to sing, "My home... My Armenia." It's the first time Movses is seeing his home in 98 years.

A century ago, the Ottomans initiated a policy of deportations, mass murder and rape to destroy the Armenian presence in the Ottoman Empire. By the war's end, more than a million people, from what is now modern-day Turkey, were eliminated.

It was one of first genocides of the 20th century, one that Turkish authorities deny to this day.

Movses and his father survived.

I traveled to Armenia to meet Movses and other survivors to ask them about their last memories of their early home. I then retraced their steps in Turkey to retrieve a piece of their lost homeland.

One hundred years after having fled his birthplace, Movses caresses its image, as if by holding it close he will be taken back to the place he called home many years ago.

This is his story, and those of other survivors.

A story of home - everything they had, everything they lost. And what they have found again.
 

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Here in Greece, you see, you are deemed a photographer if you are professionally involved with wedding photography or photojournalism.AAP: Where did you study photography?I haven’t actually studied photography; I am self-taught. I have come upon everything by looking up in books.AAP:Do you have a mentor?Strange though it may sound, I could regard as my “mentor” the distinguished Greek poet, Odysseas Elytis, Fernando Pessoa or Marcel Proust, as they help me find my way whenever I reach a deadlock.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?I became involved with photography in 1985 but in 1994 I reached a stalemate and for almost a decade I stopped photographing. I didn’t shoot a single photo. I couldn’t even lay my hands on the camera; not even on holidays when a tourist asked me to take a photo. Then a certain incident urged me to take it up again in 2004 and since then I keep on photographing on a daily basis. 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As soon as I reached my destination and opened the car door, I saw the frame that was created , took the picture and felt such a fulfillment that I realized there was no point in taking any more photos; so I instantly closed the door and returned with that one single photo.AAP: What or who inspires you?Literature and poetry have always been a source of inspiration for me.AAP: How could you describe your style?I would characterize what I am trying to do as visual poetry. In my photos there are no extraordinary events; I seek magic in the ordinary people on the street, in my neighbors, in passers-by. I seek the moment when narration is no longer needed with the aim of creating a new universe where all will be evident yet something will be left unrevealed, not with symbols but with hints. Starting point for me has been a quote by Odysseas Elytis “with lime twigs you may capture birds; yet you will never capture their singing…”AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?The gear that I use is rather simple; a digital camera-Canon 5D- and a 35mm/f1,4 lens. I am against using several kinds of gear that may give you more opportunities; I like putting limitations and making particular choices, as they render you less “garrulous” and more conscious.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Once I take a picture, I don’t spend so much time on it. At the end of the day I have a look at what I’ve shot and in very few minutes I sort out the one or ones that I am interested in. I always show the selected lot to a specific person who is not in any way involved with photography or any other form of art, but who I trust otherwise, and once I get their opinion, I make my final choice. Because I browse through the photos very quickly every evening, I feel that in my hard disks there may be photos I have never noticed and I have always had the urge to have another look at them but I never did.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?A lot of photographers are my favorite. The first one I had ever studied and really made an impression on me was Koudelka, then I “met” and fell in love with Kertész and Bresson. Also, Robert Frank , Plossu , my compatriot, Economopoulos and many others.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?The most important thing for someone who is about to take up photography is to gain a deep insight into themselves; it’s this process of personal development and cultivation that will enable them to express themselves through photography and take photos that will be the real them and provoke the interest of others.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?When one sets out on this photographic trip, they browse through the internet and magazines and try to shoot at some point what they have seen. I consider this a great mistake since they are drifted away in an attempt to imitate and they are caught in a deadlock.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?Since my intention is not to depict something specific or recount an event through my pictures, I couldn’t claim that I am currently working on some kind of project and once this is over, I’ll start with another one. The point is to decode what’s inside me and this “project” will be over once I am over with photography or once I am no longer alive.AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?What I find important, is that some say or write that one of my photos triggered a burst of emotion in them. I find this the most significant gift photography could grant me. AAP: Your worst souvenir has a photographer?Since I mainly photograph on the streets, the police have arrested me twice as a suspect. I believe these are my worst experiences as a photographer. AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?As I mentioned before, I love and admire the work of many photographers; thus, it would be impossible for me to pick one.
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