© Lilit Matevosyan from "I had left my home early in the morning", 2019

Lilit Matevosyan: I had left my home early in the morning

Lilit Matevosyan (Russia): I had left my home early in the morning

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For several years my study has been the history of my family: from generations that lived in the XIX century to our time. By making this project, I began to realize how a small story of one family, could be the history of millions of others. My stories will be divided into heads of key events of the family history. They had began with the territories of Turkey, where my ancestors lived and fled before the genocide and had continued on the lands of Georgia and Armenia. Personal stories are intertwined with events occurring on the territory of the post-Soviet space. One of the key chapter will be the earthquake in Armenia in 1988. My family was at the epicenter of events and witnessed the last of this tragedy. Next will be a difficult time for perestroika and our moving to Sakhalin Island, Russia – this is the era of the ‘90s. It is important for me to render again in these places, to return and to experience these events anew. This project will have completely different visual forms: from black and white photography, working with the archive, working with color and collage.

From young age I was deeply interested in the history of my family. Living with my father, I heard stories about the place of my birth, relatives and names. They seemed to be a source of answers to my questions about family life. Anyway all that I had in the past determines what I have now. I felt that I had to find out everything, but in this case I must see it by myself.

In search of clues and answers on my 25th birthday, I went to Tbilisi – to the house where I was born. Then my adventure of the past began. Only being there I could feel the world that existed before me. The charm of something very familiar and native accompanied me after every walk around the city. The absence of external borders between people – is what I encountered in my trips through Georgia. The revelation that the family can be outside the family, behind the every house’s door.