The Twentieth Spring - Shushi/Karabakh
Surrounded by his paints Artist Hovik Gasparian lights a cigarrete in his studio. This image is part of the photoproject "The Twentieth Spring", a portrait of caucasian town Shushi 20 years after its so called "Liberation" by armenian fighters. In its more than two centuries old history Shushi was ruled by different powers like armeniens, persians, russian or aseris. In 1991 a fierce battle for Karabakhs independence from Azerbaijan began. During the breakdown of Sowjet Union armenians didn´t want to stay within the Republic of Azerbaijan anymore. 1992 armenians manage to takeover "ancient armenian Shushi" and pushed out remained aseris forces which had operate a rocket base there. Since then Shushi became an "armenian town" again. Today, 20 yeras after statement of Karabakhs independence Shushi tries to find it´s opportunities for it´s future. The less populated town is still affected by devastation and ruins by it´s violent history. Life is mostly a daily struggle for the inhabitants to get expenses covered, caused by a lack of jobs and almost no perspective for a sustainable economic development. Shushi depends on donations by diaspora armenians. On the other hand those donations have made it possible to rebuild a cultural centre, recover new asphalt roads and other infrastructure. 20 years after Shushis fall into armenian hands Babies get born and people won´t never be under aseris rule again. The bloody early 1990´s civil war has moved into the trenches of the frontline 20 kilometer away from Shushi where it stuck since 1994. The karabakh conflict is still not solved and could turn to an open war every day. Nonetheless life goes on on the south caucasian rocky tip above mountainious region of Karabakh where Shushi enthrones ever since centuries.