1930 - 1960s
Arshavir Poghosyan, a member of the senior generation of Armenian documentary and reportage photography, entered the field in the 1930s. He has corresponded with various newspapers and magazines, such as ‘Sovetakan Hayastan’ and ‘Khorhrdayin Hayastan’. A number of these photographs subsequently entered into wide circulation and were reused in photographic albums (‘Sovetakan Hayastani 40 amyaky’, 1961) and published as postcards. Poghosyan was one of the founders of the photo–chronicle section of the Armenian Telegraphic Agency in 1960, but went into retirement not long thereafter.(1)
As a photojournalist, Poghosyan has had a significant impact on the development of photo-reportage traditions in Armenia. His photographs reflected and closely abided to the ideology of the Communist propaganda machine. The progress of socialist life was demonstrated in Poghosyan’s work through very transparent visual schemes in which the worker appeared as a producer and a master of nature. The aesthetic and compositional construction of the heroic worker’s image was also predicated upon a few unadulterated iconographic models. Here, the individual and his public function are represented as a complete and indivisible unity. The same epic mood also imbues Poghosyan's Armenian landscapes in which the photographer strove to convey the almost mythical power of Armenia's nature, which is, however, also shown to be ‘conquered’ by his human protagonists as in Poghosyan's iconic Fishermen of Sevan photograph from the 1950s. Poghosyan's images are made with a perfect understanding of the emotional and political impact of documentary photography. They present the photograph not as a recording of facts, but as an utopian and inspirational vision of the world, to which the mundane flow of reality should aspire to.
1) (unsigned), "Arshavir Poghosyan. Sevasnkie Rybaki ", Sovetskoe Foto, no.7, 1965, p.9
USSR, Armenia, ArmSSR
documentary, photo correspondent
(unsigned), "Arshavir Poghosyan. Sevasnkie Rybaki ", Sovetskoe Foto, no.7, 1965, p.9
Harutyunyan, N. (comp.). Sportayin Hayastan [Sportive Armenia, in Armenian], photo-album, Haypethrat, Yerevan, 1956