Armenia: Landscapes of Memories

This spring, Danish photographer Martin Thaulow spent several weeks in Armenia travelled through various cities and villages, and created the "Armenia: Landscapes of Memories"  photo series. This project, supported by the Cultural and Social Narratives Laboratory (CSN Lab) and the Danish Cultural Institute (DCI) within the New Democracy Fund (NDF) programme, combines portraits and personal stories of diverse communities representing Armenian society. 

Martin Thaulow is a photographer and visual artist from Denmark, who explores complex and sensitive topics such as forced displacement, the migration crisis, and other consequences of wars and conflicts by merging portraits and personal stories. The artist has numerous initiatives focusing on forcibly displaced people from Ukraine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Rwanda, and beyond, supported by international organisations such as the UN, UNESCO, the Red Cross, and Amnesty International. 

The opening of "Armenia: Landscapes of Memories" took place in June of this year, as part of the "People's Summit" (Folkemødet) festival held on Bornholm island in Denmark. This annual event unites cultural practitioners, artists, political figures, and ordinary people from Denmark and around the world, who gather to discuss and address the importance of democracy through the languages of politics, art, and culture. 

The exhibition curated by Martin Thaulow and CSN Lab's founder Tigran Amiryan, consists of two parts. The first one is centred around the diversity of Armenian society, showcasing portraits of people with various identities and experiences. The second part is based on the “Kechut: Memory Under the Water” project implemented by the Cultural and Social Narratives Laboratory (CSN Lab). During his visit to Armenia, Martin Thaulow joined the CSN Lab’s fieldwork in Kechut locals and the village itself. In the framework of his visit to Armenia, Martin Thaulow joined in CSN Lab's fieldwork in Kechut, capturing locals and the village itself. These images have not only been featured in the exhibition but also became an integral part of CSN Lab's latest book—"Kechut: Memory Under the Water." The synthesis of the exhibition in the open air, on the rocky shores of the island appears to parallel the landscapes of Bornholm and Kechut, Denmark and Armenia. Through this exhibition, thousands of people had the opportunity to gain insights into Armenia, its diverse society, culture and the current challenges it faces. 

“Armenia: Landscapes of Memories” exhibition unveils Armenia's multi-layered and complex memory, the threats and obstacles it faces today, and reflects on the diverse identities of the Armenian people. This exhibition marks a significant step in fostering Armenian-Danish cultural dialogue and enhancing Armenia-EU relations. The grand opening of the exhibition took place on June 13, during a festival in Bornholm, and will remain open until August 12.

Photos by Martin Thaulow and Vilas Oluf Thaulow