Monday, February 22, 2010
I'm really digging black and white photos lately - maybe it's because of the very insipid weather of gray skies and leafless trees, but it just feels right right now. These are some photos I took when we were shooting for our International Women's Day project in the village of Getap. We only ended up using the top image from my side of images taken, but I still like these and think they add up to something very contemplative about this woman. She stared off in thought a lot when we were there and I couldn't help watching and finding some beauty in it.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
One of the things that makes this country really hard to gauge in terms of well being and development is the superficial appearance of wealth. The amount of pride these people have extends itself to the street level where it is so hard to see the inside of the real culture - which is the almost miserly resourcefulness and preservation for the few nice things everyone owns. The obsession of having very basic pre-fab furniture and fake brand name clothing that are "pretty" can fool one to really knowing at what degree Armenia is developing. You won't see people dirty and poor on the streets, or begging for your money - but an average wage is about $150 dollars a month, with very few jobs to be had. I took this picture last week in a village - the two new chairs and bad wallpaper that is cracking next to this young boy seemed like a good contrast to what I know Armenia to be.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Today we (Emily & I) began shooting a small project for International Women's Day - there will be a gallery of a few images to be placed in a local NGO for the month of March. It has been cold here the last few days with snow and frozen pipes, and with nothing really to do outside people stay inside and keep warm, eat and rest. This woman reminded me of the scene in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, when Charlie's grandparents are both lying in bed head to foot - eating, resting and keeping warm. It will be Spring soon, but not soon enough.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
It takes a long time to really know people here and feel comfortable with them knowing you (partly because you have to sit through the usual long questionnaire about yourself) that when others invite you in to their house, it is easier sometimes to just decline. I know I not only speak for myself but for other Peace Corps Volunteers - we are somewhere in between living and coping and assimilation and detachment. But in any case, I try to say yes as much as I can. Today I was stopped by a woman I don't know too well and I decided to take up her coffee offer. I left with a feeling of serene discovery and here are a few pictures I took from the 45 minutes I stayed.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
I feel like I've been here forever now, and finding interesting pictures is sometimes a challenge. So I have decided to skip out on some of my assigned work and take on a project about the attitude towards beauty in Armenia. I have been re-introduced to the American attitude and style regarding beauty just by being the outsider here. In general, I would say we (Americans) don't put a huge priority on our appearances and in some cases go out of our way to look like a slob. Never the case in Armenia. My torn jeans hardly get worn and when they do I have to admit to feeling slightly embarrassed. It's is something that I notice almost everyday - my outfit vs. their outfit. It's very cultural. I hope to have some good ones in the coming months.