The Aftermath of War: Armenia’s uncertain future
The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been one of the world’s most intractable territorial disputes. The six week war in 2020 saw the most intense conflict in Europe or its periphery this century and has layered fresh trauma and tragedy on top of decades of devastation.
Now Armenian's are facing an uncertain future. The devastating war, which killed an estimated 4000 people as the rest of the world was busy managing COVID’s challenges, has brought about a political crisis which sees the country polarised, and which could even endanger the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Such violence takes a heavy toll on civilians on both sides of the border. Even in tranquil periods, daily life is constrained by fear of renewed clashes and limited economic prospects.
A year after the arch-foes fought a war, now a new crisis is unfolding with reports of a number of territorial encroachments by Azerbaijani troops across the new international Armenia-Azerbaijani border.
The fresh violence now threatens the livelihoods of many facing the impossible choice of leaving their crops to rot or risking their lives gathering their produce for market, with residents having lost access to acres of land they once farmed. Young people now seek their future elsewhere, mostly young men, leaving wives, children and parents of pensioner age behind.
My on-going project sees a commitment to document the ongoing issues around democracy and societal change in post-conflict Armenia, recording every-day life along the fractious borders with Azerbaijan and focusing on the daily life of those affected by war and privation.