Database of Armenian photo-media practioners

Silent Existence: Maryam Sahinyan

Silent Existence: Maryam Sahinyan

April, 2018
Other Events
Mirzoyan Library, Yerevan

The first part of this lecture will briefly reflect on the most famous Armenian photographers and photo studios of the second half of the 19th century in the Ottoman imperial capital, Istanbul. The second part will focus on Mariam Shahinian’s life and photography works in the newly founded Turkish Republic. Mariam Shahinian was Turkey's first female professional photographer. She worked for half a century, from 1935 to 1985, leaving more than 1,200 images in 1139 boxes of negative film. Shahinian had always been loyal to her large-size camera that was created during the First World War. She only took black and white photos, never betraying her technical or aesthetic principles. She did not like being photographed, the only visual information she left was four passport-size photos and one family photograph. Shahinyan's photographic coverage is huge and diverse: her photo device captured people of different social groups, among them homosexuals, black men, monks, soldiers, artists, Christians, Muslims, and women who could shed their hijabs only in the presence of another woman.What exactly is Mariam Shahinian's photography? Is it a documentation, an evidence? How was it possible for a photographer like Mariam Shahinyan to exist? What are these images today?

The lecture will take place on April 27 at Mirzoyan Library, Yerevan

Lecturer: Anahit Ghazaryan