‘Chaika’ flies over my head and I enter Abovyan city with acute longing.  Returning home is the hardest journey. It is hard to go to a place where you are not. Visiting Abovyan for the first time after many years and photographing myself there, I am trying to rethink my connection with the area, trying to find myself in a place, where I may not be anymore, but also being sure that somehow I still exist there.

The abandoned area of Abovyan, where we often gathered with friends, calling it Pompeii. Graffiti in Pompeii that we did together with my friends when we were teenagers.

While trying to fix my relationship with my mom and wanting to reconnect with my past, I want to create photos that my mom will like.

My mother in the kitchen. She didn’t want me to take her photo.

Instead of famous places like the Berlin Wall – where my mother asked me to take pictures – this time behind me is the entrance of the building, where I used to live, the hospital where I was born, the abandoned swimming pool that was a hangout place during my teenage years, the stairs to my school and the house where we lived with my mother years ago.

From left to right: My childhood toys and clothes. A snake tattoo that mom doesn’t know I have. An underwear store near the Abovyan Cinema building. A photo taken at the Berlin Wall for my mother.
My mom doing her makeup.
From left to right:One of the notes on the wall near St. Hovhannes Church in Abovyan. Self-portrait. One of the bedrooms in my grandmother’s house, where my mother currently sleeps. Self-portrait near the non-working claw machine of the Abovyan Cinema building.
The painting of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus, hanging in one of the bedrooms of my grandmother’s place.
Me and my mom on her birthday when I was 3 years old.

Like a sadow or a ghost, I move from one photo to another, from one space and time to another, as if endlessly trying to find myself.

The bed in my grandmother’s house