My series of photographs taken in the Caucasus was among the top-rated entries in the Exposure Awards 2015 competition. It was a record breaking year with entries from photographers located in 120 countries on 5 continents.
I photographed a series of portraits for the organisation “International Alert” to highlight the current situation in the Caucasus. The work was exhibited both here and abroad under the title “Conflict is not the division of land but the division of people”.
Since the beginning of 1988, the Azerbaijan and Armenia conflict over the disputed area of Nagorno Karabakh has led to the existence of three parties to the conflict, that is the governments of the two sovereign states as well as that of the unrecognized ‘Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh’. This division of people is a factor which has made a solution to the conflict all the more difficult.
The conflicts over Nagorny Karabakh remain a major obstacle for economic development and certainly for cooperation across the region. But people who are participating in dialogue meetings are seeing that business and economic interests could be a way of bringing people together.
The portraits capture faces of different people from different states in the region and vividly represent the human side of conflict, where each individual remains above all a human being with his or her right to be what they are, wherever they live, with dignity and in peace.