The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been a long one. The troubles started in 1988, escalating into a full-scale war when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It left 65,000 ethnic Armenians and 40,000 ethnic Azeris displaced. The International Crisis Group pointed out how the two countries are closer to war in Nagorno-Karabakh’s enclave than in any time since 1994. My project focuses on the young Artsakh citizens who are forced to become soldiers. Between the ages of 13-18, they wear uniforms and train in a military academy. Their everyday life is stuck in a military limbo, caused by a war that’s seen as normal and necessary – a war they grew up with. I decided to document what the conflict left behind and the influence it had, and still has, on the young military. On the front line, young soldiers take care of their enemy’s actions. In the military academy, they learn maths, history and English, after physical exercises and marches. I wanted to humanise these young boys and girls, to explore their reactions. Instead, what I found was an extreme carefreeness. I wanted to investigate the sense of confusion that teenagers in war must feel. The aim was to give a sense of what they experience, their sufferings and personal reactions. The exhibition would be composed by 20-25 photographs to create an immersive experience into these teenagers lives. I would love to play with their gazes as an interactive composition along with ones of the viewers.
Emanuele Amighetti is an award-winning documentary photographer whose work focuses on social issues and the aftermath of war. His photographs have been exhibited in galleries and festivals in Italy, Greece, France, Australia, Bulgaria and the UK. He was recipient of various awards including PDN Photo Annual, PX3 Prix de la Photographie, Head on Photo Festival Awards, Lenscratch Student Prize and Belfast Photo Festival. He is one of the artists exhibiting at this year’s edition of Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles (FR) and Phodar Biennial (BG). He is one of the selected photographers to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop in October 2017.
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