YEREVAN–(Combined Sources)–Hrair "Hawk" Khatcherian’s photographs of Western Armenia–captured in an album called "Yerkir," was presented on May 11 at the Sergei Parajanov Museum in Yerevan.
"Armenian architects have been denied the opportunity to study the historical and cultural monumen’s of Western Armenia," said architect Dr. Mourad Hasratian during the ceremony–explaining that Hawk’s photos not only serve to fill that gap–but also document the fact that Armenia’s once lived and thrived in Western Armenia. "Symbolically named Yerkir–this album of photographs serves as legitimate proof of that–and is a tool for future generations to raise the issue of territorial rights."
Yerkir features 460 photographs of the Western Armenian cities of Ani–Erzeroum–Gars–Moush–Sis–Van–and Zeitun–taken between 1992 and 2004.
"This album is a document; it’s our weapon. There is vast territory that we had not seen until now," said Parajanov Museum director Zaven Sarkissian–stressing the album must be used as textbook in every Armenian home. "Growing up with this album–our next generation will be able to speak with force–in a tone different then our’s."
"Yerkir" also documen’s the condition of monumen’s in Western Armenia by juxtaposing current photos with those taken at the turn of the 20th century.
Khatcherian says that little has preserved; monumen’s in Western Armenia–specifically churches–have either been destroyed or converted into stables or mosques.
The album also contains unique photos of the "Naregatsi stones." The Armenian poet Krikor Naregatsi (951-1003) wrote his mystical poem "Book of Lamentations" on the stones.
Hrair Khatcherian has dedicated the album "Yerkir" to his "venerable teacher" Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian–who passed away on December 2–2003.
Khatcherian’s first album–published in 1997–Artsakh: A photographic Journey–captures the vitality of the people of Mountainous Karabagh Republic–and their courage in the struggle to be free.
Born in Lebanon–Khatcherian currently lives in Canada with his wife Lena and their two children Lori and Palig.
For more information–contact Khatcherian at Hawk@videotron.ca.