Yulia Grigoryants is an independent photographer from Armenia currently living between France and Armenia. Her extensive professional background in documentary film production helped develop her storytelling abilities while covering social, cultural, and human rights issues around the world, including conflict zones.
Born in 1984 in Baku, Azerbaijan, she fled the country in 1988 with her family because of the violence against the Armenian population, which was followed by a large scale war in the early 1990’s. She grew up during a time of important political and social changes for Armenia and the region, with the transition from the Soviet system to independence, a devastating earthquake, five years of war, and years of social economic hardship.
In 2016 Yulia won The Best New Talent award at the International Photography Awards (IPACIS). She was nominated for the annual Lucie Awards (2016) and shortlisted for the prestigious Sony World Photography award (2017). Yulia’s work has been exhibited in France (Council of Europe’s house in Strasbourg), Russia, China, at the UN House in Armenia and published internationally, including in the Washington Post, L’oeil de la Photographie and others.
An Unfinished war
On the night of April 2, 2016, the frozen conflict exploded when Azerbaijan launched attacks along the entire Nagorno Karabakh – Azerbaijan line of contact. Four tense days of fighting followed, using heavy ammunition, military helicopters, and causing hundreds of deaths on both sides. The fight was eventually stopped by a ceasefire agreement. In the uncertain conditions of this tenuous ceasefire, a full-scale war may start any day. The tension on the border is still quite high.
Inhabitants of the Empty
In 1988, a 7.0 Richter-scale earthquake struck northern Armenia. The quake killed at least 25,000 people in the region. Thousands more were maimed and hundreds of thousands left homeless.
A few thousand families are still living in makeshift shelters, waiting for help. Many of them are not eligible for new housing, since they are not considered to be direct victims of the earthquake. 25 years later, they are still waiting for urgently needed improvements to their dwellings.