Nelli Shishmanyan’s “Together is Possible” photo exhibition
The exhibition is the result of a collaborative initiative between 4Plus Documentary Photography Center’s member – photographer Nelli Shishmanyan and Azerbaijan-based partner, which was implemented in 2018 with financial support from the European Union. Mixing traditional documentary photography technique and multi-media reportage, Shishmanyan and her Azerbaijani colleague have explored the cultural commonalities and traditions that are shared by Armenians and Azerbaijanis, who once lived together in several villages across the Caucasus and continue to do so in some settlements in Georgia. The photographer’s gaze gives us a sobering perspective on the human side of the conflict, prompting us to consider how people transcend their differences and build communities through common values and dialogue.
Aiming to throw light on these realities, Shishmanyan’s project documents the way ordinary Armenians and Azerbaijanis have and are still able to find mutual understanding in culture, which if further explored and promoted could eventually contribute to the establishment of peace in the region.
The photo and video material and narratives became a basis for the multimedia exhibition that was first publicly displayed in Tbilisi, in October 2018.
Nelli Shishmanyan’s “Together is Possible” was supported by the EU-funded ‘Peacebuilding through Capacity Enhancement and Civic Engagement’ (PeaCE) programme. Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Armenia, Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Azerbaijan through the Caucasus Research Resource Centre in Georgia and International Alert have been implementing the PeaCE program since January 2017.