WORK IN PROGRESS
In order to fully understand the complex and tormented history of Nagorno Karabagh (literally Black Garden), now called the Republic of Artsakh, one has to go back in time. This historically Armenian province was attached to Azerbaijan in 1921 by Stalin. In 1991, at the fall of the Soviet Union, Artsakh proclaimed its independence by breaking away from Azerbaijan at the cost of a bloody war that led to a regional armed conflict. With more than 30,000 dead on both sides, this conflict is one of the deadliest in the post-USSR era. A fragile ceasefire was signed in 1994 and the Republic of Artsakh is not recognized to date by any UN member country.
Unfortunately the ceasefire is not respected and clashes regularly occur along the border. On the night of 2-3 April 2016, Armenian and Azeri armed forces fought with rare intensity. The « Four Day War » is one of the most violent clashes since the ceasefire in 1994.
The stigma of the war is everywhere. Houses scattered over the hills are destroyed. Bullet holes are sifting through the village walls. The earth is burnt. And there are still the charred wrecks of abandoned cars. . A setting that is not without reminders of the violence of war. A « frozen » conflict that can resurface at any moment. So, how does everyday life resonate when you live in a time in suspense?
With this project I would like to portray these men and women caught in the limbo of war. For the majority of people living in this region is an act of resistance. While the new generations have almost forgotten the reasons that provoked the first hostilities and hope to be able to put an end to them.
With this frozen situation in mind, I want to understand their belief and the meaning they give to their commitment and their future. They are the characters, inevitably tragic, of an endless war. In a world marked by patriotism and military culture, where intimate dramas nourish collective heroism.