Sayat Nova Street

The recent publication of my photographs of ethnic Armenian-Azeri co-inhabited villages around Marneuli, a town in Southern Georgia, by the BBC and Radio Free Europe reminds me of a road every car and bus making the journey between Yerevan and Tbilisi passes by. With 83.1 percent of the population ethnic Azeri it might seem strange to have a street named after an 18th Century Armenian troubadour, but with a minority ethnic Armenian population -- and with the majority of the entire district comprising over 98,000 ethnic Azeris and 9,000 ethnic Armenians -- it probably isn't.

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Armenian Dance Ensemble, Tbilisi

Given that I deleted my old blog and started afresh with this one upon shifting everything to a new hosting provider, I'm starting to post in retrospect, or at least in terms of material from the past year which never made it on to the last one anyway. So, without further ado, some photos of the Ani Ensemble, the dance troupe of the ethnic Armenian community in Tbilisi, Georgia, from last Autumn. Didn't get to spend much time with them, but did attend a rehearsal and a performance.

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Image Copyright and Watermarking

The photograph above was taken at an opposition rally in Yerevan, Armenia, in October 2007. By January 2008, ahead of the February Presidential Election, the opposition had used it as one of the main images for their campaign website. Contacting them, they did at least agree to pay me $100 for use of the image online, but what they didn't tell me was that they'd also use it as the main image for posters, banners, badges, and sticker labels.

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A Great Response to Caucasus Conflict Voices

I've been very encouraged by the response to my latest gallery of images on ethnic Armenian-Azeri coexistence in Georgia, published last week by Radio Free Europe in English and Azerbaijani. It follows a similar gallery published by BBC Azeri and BBC Russian in May as well as in a special Caucasus edition of Turkish Review in June.

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Street Kids in Tbilisi

After spending several months getting to know the kids I encounter on the streets in Tbilisi, I think I'm finally ready to start a proper photographic study of their lives. Incidentally, it's been fun building up a relationship with them as well as their families and particularly fascinating to run into a good many who self-identify as ethnic Kurds from Azerbaijan.

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A Fond Farewell to the Sayat Nova Project

It’s been a great few months hanging out with the Sayat Nova Project — a Kickstarter-funded project to document the majority and minority musical traditions of the South Caucasus by two Americans and one Gibraltarian. Sadly, however, their time in the region has come to an end, but just to say it was a pleasure to not only to get to know them, but also to report on some of their travels and experiences.

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