100 YEARS OF UPROOTING has been common to many Armenian families, including generations of mine. I’ve wandered across the borders of my American life wearing the skill of adaptation and assimilation as a badge of honor, having adopted my father’s multiculaturalism and polyglotism at an early age — but the reality is, uprooting cuts deeply every time.
Today these cuts are open, in the face of a state that has never accepted responsibility or seen consequence for committing genocide — a campaign that’s been metastasizing amidst the fog and chaos of 2020. The immediate needs of a new wave of Armenian refugees are a clear and present re-living of horror, a realization of how deeply our shared generational trauma connects Armenians of every ‘tsi.’
1,000+ years of Armenian art and culture have revered and assigned rich symbology to the pomegranate, from 7th century manuscripts to Parajanov’s films. This is a familiar cultural reverence among Armenia’s neighbors in The Caucasus, Middle East and Europe. NOUR follows this tradition, focusing on the pomegranate trees my parents planted at my family home when I was a young child, in the practice of the trees their parents planted before them, and their parents before them -- each consecutively nurtured, and forced to leave behind.
NOUR is a study of roots, a story of generations, a personal reflection on the overwhelming love and life that has crossed oceans, tragedies and centuries to reach me. It is an outstretched hand, reaching for future eras of roots, left to grow, thrive, and share with our family, friends, and hopefully: our neighbors.
I’ve partnered with Tania Sarin Araradian to create this project and contribute proceeds to benefit Artsakh & Armenia via the Armenia Support Fund / The Paros Foundation 501(c)3
On exhibition: 6 photographs, 35mm film negatives
Limited to a run of 8 prints each at 11x14 -- $200
Sold at $1,000 for the complete set of 6 photographs
1 of 3 special edition print 17x22 $500
All are hand-signed and numbered, with certificate of provenance
Fine art giclée print on archival watercolor paper
Available at nournournour.com
Hagop Kalaidjian is a Los Angeles born photographer and filmmaker. His editorial work has been featured in Vogue, Interview Magazine, Vanity Fair IT, Vogue IT, GQ and more