Blooming in The Black Garden

The University of Stepanakert is where,  in 1988,  the independence movement leading to the Karabakh’s declaration of independence began after a long-lasting war. Karabakh (black garden in Persian) is an independent but unrecognized state,  at war with Azerbaijan over territorial claims. Blooming in the Black Garden is a project that,  on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of independence,  portrays the stories of young people born after the de facto independence,  who search for a national identity,  torn between a sense of pride of Karabakh and Armenian belonging. A country where the wounds of war in the territory and in the spirit are still visible,  where people still fall victim to the countless landmines hidden in the ground,  where in the capital city,  Stepanakert,  which is only a few kilometers from the front line,  sons,  brothers and husbands are still fighting for sovereignty and where mothers,  sisters and wives live suspended between hope,  fear and longing for a normal future. From schools to sports fields,  from military academies to art institutions,  the youth of Karabakh dream of a different future,  aware that their generation will build the foundation for international recognition.

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