Pictures of the Month / Heikki Annala: Around Ararat

30.09.2019 - 27.10.2019

“Outside Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, only a very few people speak any other languages than Armenian or Russian. The lack of common language was not a problem on my photography trips to small towns and villages. The attitude towards a stranger was friendly and small talk was done with gestures. Often taking a few photos and viewing them through camera display together with the photographed led to an invite for coffee or dinner. Sometimes dinner turned to a small party. Discussions with gestures, a few common words or smart phone dictionary were very lively.”

The white silhouette of Ararat, the holy mountain of Armenians, is visible almost everywhere in the country. The national symbol locates in neighboring Turkey reminding about the genocide one hundred years ago. Around million Armenians perished and the horrible event still shadows the minds of Armenians. Turkey does not recognize the genocide and due to the controversy the western border with Turkey remains closed.

On the Armenian eastern border locates Nagorno-Karabakh area that is disputed by Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict between the two countries escalates every now and then to shooting over the border. Despite all of this Armenia is a peaceful country evidenced for example by the fact that a revolution of 2018 was carried out virtually without violence. Armenia is the first Christian nation in the world and has kept the religion, which ties together Armenians at home and those living abroad in diaspora caused by the genocide.

Heikki Annala (born 1962) is a freelance photographer based in Oulu. He has studied photography in Lappia in Tornio and graduated as a professional photographer. In addition to photography jobs and projects he lives part of the time at Syöte area photographing the northern nature during different seasons, especially winter. Nature was also the topic of his first exhibition View of Light last year. The photos of this new exhibition have been taken during three trips 2017-2019 alongside photo workshops organized by photographer Jaakko Heikkilä.

Heikki Annala: Around Ararat

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