Photo Exhibit Documents Poverty In Armenia


89.3 KPCC
April 1 2010

Poverty in Armenia has been on the rise in recent years. A report
from the World Bank last year says 28 percent of the people in Armenia
live below the poverty level. Southland photographer Sara Anjargolian
spent several weeks on the outskirts of the capital city Yerevan
documenting the lives of those families living in the shadows and
rarely seen. Her photos are compiled in her new book, "How We Live:
Life on the Margins in Armenia." The images are on display at Casitas
Studios in Atwater Village. (Audio: KPCC’s Shirley Jahad spoke with
Anjargolian there about the stories of families in poverty in Armenia.)

One of the photos is of a man perched on a field of garbage. This
is his place of work. He gets up at 6 o’clock each morning and stays
out until 5 in the afternoon searching the hilly fields of trash for
pieces of plastic or metal to sell for money to feed his family.

Another photo shows how a family of 10 lives in a 400-square-foot
apartment, given to the father for his military service.

Anjargolian says some 400,000 Armenians live in the Southland. Many
have strong ties to Armenia. Many make donations to charities back
in their homeland. Some have bought houses or condos in Yerevan where
tree-lined streets and European cafes are springing up.

But few have seen or heard about these families in poverty. The
exhibit of 5×7 foot photos is meant to bring the viewer face-to-face
with situation. The display is up until April 18 at Casitas Studios –
3229 Casitas Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90039. Gallery hours Friday April 2:
7-10pm; Saturday April 10: 6-10pm; Sunday April 18: 6-9pm. Schools
and community groups may email [email protected] to make tour

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