About Armenian Photographer
Freelance documentary photographer German Avagyan has dedicated his time, effort and art to the landmine situation in Armenia and Karabakh. Through his photography, he has helped to educate people on the seriousness of the landmine problem in Armenia. Over the past five years, Avagyan documented over 50 cases of landmine injury and became closely acquainted with the families he photographed, hearing their stories of tragedy and sometimes death.
Avagyan became interested in landmine and UXO victims in 1999 when he was working on a photo documentary project at the Yerevan Boarding School for Children with Vision Impairment. He explains, "There I met several boys who had lost their vision as the result of mine or UXO explosions. One of them lost most of his left arm, and two boys lost siblings in the explosions. As I heard their stories and learned more about the circumstances that led to these accidents, I understood that there is a serious problem in Armenia and Karabakh, about which little was being done and even less was spoken." Avagyan then felt that he must do something to help spread the word and to possibly prevent accidents like these. "I decided to investigate further and traveled many times to distant regions to meet with boys, girls and families whose lives have been turned upside-down by such accidents."
Avagyan hopes to use his photography to create an educational book for children, teachers and parents to demonstrate the harsh realities of the landmine problem in Armenia and Karabakh. "I want my photographs and book to spur people to action," he states. "I want children, parents and teachers to understand the dangers of landmines and UXO. I want them to learn how to recognize mines and UXO, and and I want to teach them caution and care. I want all of this, so that not one more Armenian child will be injured or killed by what I call 'lethal toys."
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