Santa Barbara: A Mother’s Courage to Achieve the American Dream - Trust Me Shops
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Santa Barbara: A Mother’s Courage to Achieve the American Dream

Santa Barbara: A Mother’s Courage to Achieve the American Dream

B&H explora - All posts
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How does one begin to reconcile the unspoken sacrifices a mother makes to build her children a better life? For photographer, filmmaker, and experimental storyteller Diana Markosian, the key to understanding such mysteries of her childhood was through recasting long unexplained events in a monumental art project told through an embedded narrative—a nested story to honor her mother’s sacrifice.

Photographs © Diana Markosian

Above photograph: The Arrival, 2019, from Santa Barbara (Aperture, 2020)

Markosian was born in Moscow, in 1989, to Armenian parents who had recently fled the war wreaking havoc in their home country during much of the 1980s and ’90s. “It was a very dark period in Armenia,” she says. “There was no electricity, and no water, which made it impossible for us to live there.”

Coming from an intellectual background with a passion for the arts and culture, her parents sought out the safety and possibility of a new homeland while pursuing advanced degrees in the sciences. Yet, the relative security of Moscow proved short lived after the Soviet Union’s collapse, on December 31, 1991. At that very moment in history, any glimmer of hope for the future was extinguished. “Suddenly, this place of opportunity became a nightmare,” she says. “We had gone from one refugee situation to another, and then suddenly we couldn't even feel safe in the second home we had just adopted.”

Moscow Breadline, 2019, from Santa Barbara (Aperture, 2020)
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