Veteran Photographer Harry Koundakjian Photo Exhibition and Public Program

WATERTOWN–Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives and the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) opened a fifty-photograph exhibition of veteran–award-winning Associated Press (AP) photographer Harry Koundakjian’s work on November 14 to run through January 14. The exhibition–divided into five subject areas–covers his entire career as photo journalist. Themes include World Leaders–Defining Momen’s–Natural Disasters–Hye Armenian Eyes–and Harry the Photographer.

As the AP’s chief photographer in charge of all 13 Arab countries in the Middle East–North and East Africa–Turkey–and Iran–Harry has been everywhere imaginable and covered everyone from royalty to revolutionary. He has had entre into public and private events–has recorded death and destruction–and captured life at it highest and lowest momen’s. His photographs tell innumerable stories.

Th exhibition is an extraordinary expression of one man’s passion for being in the right spot at the right time with the right equipment to get the newsbreaking photograph–regardless of the danger. He has been shot at–he landed on his Nikon zoom lens when he ducked for cover as bullets zoomed past him. He has witnessed the human misery of earthquake victims and the torturous actions of assassins. He has also captured the kiss of world leaders in a moment of affection.

Ruth Thomasian–founder and executive director of Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives–has served as exhibit curator working with Harry to choose images and develop captions. She has caught the human interest focus that permeates all of Harry’s work–as well as his boundless energy.

The section on Harry the Photographer shows him drying film over a charcoal fire during his coverage of United States First Lady Pat Nixon’s tour of West Africa. We see him in Aden–South Yemen accompanied by his British body guard and an information officer–whose job it was to protect Harry as he captured the news–not to restrict or interfere with his work. And Harry loves to tell of being nick-named by those Brits as Harry the Horse–because of his passion for working hard–just like a horse.

On Tuesday evening–Dec. 7–at 7:30–ALMA will host a panel discussion accompanying Harry’s exhibition. Harry will join colleagues Steve Kurkjian–investigative reporter at The Boston Globe–and Garo Lachinian–photographer–formerly Director of Photography at the Boston Herald–in sharing their points of view on the topic–Image is Everything: Photography and the World’s Defining Momen’s. They are sure to go beyond the basics of news making into social and political issues that color how the news is communicated everyday. The program–which will include a question-and-answer period–will be monitored by Ruth Thomasian.

That evening the photograph exhibition–50 years/50 photographs: Harry L. Koundakjian–AP Photographer–will be open for viewing starting at 7pm at Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives and the Armenian Library and Museum of America.

For more information call Project SAVE Archives at 617-923-4542 or email archives@projectsave.org.

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