YEREVAN — A new photo exhibit highlighting work created by Armenian and Turkish photographers during a five-month-long collaborative project opened on January 24, 2017, at the NPAK/ACCEA (the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art) in Yerevan.
The exhibit features work from 24 young Armenian and Turkish photojournalists, who spent five months taking a remarkable set of photographs that tell the story of their lives and underscore the similarities that exist between them.
“What makes this exhibit so compelling is the emphasis on shared stories, based on the fundamental premise that what connects us is greater than what divides us,” said U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills, Jr. at the opening of the exhibit. “It is powerful and inspiring to see how this project is building bridges between our talented participants from Armenia and Turkey, and among their audiences, whether they visit the exhibit in person or follow the project online at the #BridgingStories Instagram page.”
With the sponsorship of the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, the #BridgingStories project was implemented by the Storyteller’s Café NGO and led by co-teachers Anush Babajanyan and Serra Akcan under the tutelage of the acclaimed National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer. #BridgingStories has garnered attention from around the world as participants have posted many of their images to Instagram, highlighting the similarities and parallel interests and experiences shared by the young people from both countries. Currently on display at NPAK/ACCEA are 72 photos that best capture the #BridgingStories theme.
The 24 participants, 12 each from Turkey and Armenia, were selected through a rigorous application process last summer and came together for an intensive photojournalism workshop in Dilijan, Armenia, in August 2016. Once back in their hometowns, they continued working with each other and with Mr. Stanmeyer, Ms. Babajanyan, and Ms. Akcan to hone their story telling skills and perfect their images. By photographing life in the towns and cities where they live, and sharing these images via the Instagram account “#BridgingStories,” they continue to connect with each other and with their global audience.
The free exhibition in Yerevan will run from January 24 to February 7.