Areg Balayan was mobilized in the April 2016 war. Here, he tells the story of his work and experiences" />

The Karabakh photographer who went to war

Areg Balayan was mobilized in the April 2016 war. Here, he tells the story of his work and experiences

Photographer Areg Balayan lives in Karabakh. During the April war, he was called up. He left to fight on the front line – without his camera. But later, on 15 April, he got a day off from the service and had a chance to go home and take his camera with him.

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Whenever he had free time – such as when it was more or less calm and he was able to rest or sleep – Areg took photographs. That is how a series of his photographs under the name MOB (Military Mobilization) was created, which made him one of the winners of the Lens Culture Exposure Awards.

  • For the first time since the 1994 truce, there was an armed clash on the contact line in the Karabakh conflict zone (on the night of 2 April 2016).  On 6 April, the Defence Ministries in Baku and Stepanakert reported that they had reached an agreement on the resumption of the ceasefire regime.
  • According to official data, the number of Azerbaijani servicemen killed during the escalation of tension totals 31. Contrarily, the ‘Khazar Institute of Military Studies’ reports a different figure – 93. 
  • Official data shows that the number of servicemen killed from the Armenian side was 92.
  • The armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh took place from 1991 to 1994.  Since entering into a truce, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has existed as a de facto independent republic, unrecognized by any country in the world, including Armenia. Azerbaijan considers Karabakh and the adjacent areas, acquired during the war, as occupied territories and demands their return.
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