Refugees in Armenia - Nagorno-Karabakh and Syria/Iraq Aftermaths. 2012. 


During the 1988 - 1994 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict nearly 360.000 refugees - ethnic Armenians - fled Azerbaijan to Armenia. An even higher number - over 600.000 - of Azeris were driven from Armenia and Karabakh. The government of Armenia provided the refugees from Azerbaijan with rooms in former public administrative buildings not in function after the collapse of USSR - e.g. abandoned hotels, hostels, schools or kindergartens. Many refugees acquired Armenian citizenship, others decided to hold their refugee status. Many died here as they grew older, others had success to escape the situation - but too many still survive in poor social and living conditions, and that since 20-23 years. Additionally, many ethnic Armenians fled Iraq and more recently, Syria. These ethnic Armenians are descendants of those driven from West Armenia during the 1915 Armenian Genocide, now returning to Armenia proper.

The images were taken in 2011 during a photo project in collaboration with UNHCR Armenia and Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor.