The Survivors is an installation piece that consists of 7 inkjet prints of life-size human figures. Every figure has been cut out of black and white images that I found in my family’s archive from the time they fled Near East in 1910-20's.
The knowledge of the subsequent generations around the experiences of the past relies heavily on the memories of the survivors. Although survivor’s traumatic memory is often accused as a problematic space for remembering and forgetting, still serves as a fundamental referent. The survivor embodies the archetypical figure for the generations born after who often act as collectors of memories of the survivors’ experiences. However, in the process of recall, photography also holds a vital role. Existing photographic archives often serve as reliable documents that inform the subsequent generations about the historical events. Both personal and public archives function as a source of information and as a space for remembrance.
'The Survivors was an attempt to look at the value of a photographic archive beyond representation. In a symbolic way those images are carrying experiences and memories for more than two generations and still offer lots to discover. So, I got really interested in that cross-generational dialogue. The later generations of the Armenian diaspora share the memories of the survivors and keep the remembrance of their experiences alive.'