These are the photos I took in Armenia from 2014 onwards in Armenia, a former Soviet Republic.
The Soviet Union (USSR) has collapsed for 28 years. Yet, the post-Soviet sphere has retained some of the sites built during the Soviet period in its space in both cities and rural areas.
Sites built during the Soviet period are often portrayed on the Internet and media to impart a sense of bleakness, control, and suffering (for instance with the use of black & white photography to capture greyish, monolithic buildings) and generate the stereotypical, presupposed “Soviet-ness”.
While the Soviet republics experienced a lack of freedom of speech and other types of freedom as well as different forms of deprivation and suffering, that kind of portrayal of sites is simplistic and dualistic, which limits people’s understanding of the experience of certain countries and parts of human history.
Therefore, these photos are aimed to question that “Soviet-ness” by exploring and capturing sites built during that period beyond the mainstream perspective.
I've taken photos of different types of “sites” such as leisure/recreational ones (parks, fountains—seen as leisure/recreational sites during the Soviet era, sports facilities), public transportation stations, and others.
Sites reveal “space”, which is a result of the deliberated arrangement of materials, objects, and structure; therefore sites could reveal more about the perception of the relationship between people, behavior, and physical structures during the Soviet period.
While some of the physical structures/sites built during the Soviet period remain, others have already been demolished or to be demolished for sales to developers that will turn them into more “modern”and “profitable” property projects.
Though some cities/countries desire to “clean up” those Soviet sites and the associated memories, others argue for the retention of them as they are part of an important period of history despite the not so positive memories.
Whether people want to retain these sites and memories, they represent human’s trajectory in physical space.
These sites are fragile in the sense that they face an unknown fate.
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