Members of the creative group are working on the album of photos of ASSR honored artist Guros (Gurgen Paronyan) dedicated to Syunik and have already managed to be in a number of villages, where once Guros took his photos.
The essential part of Guros’s personal archive is preserved in “Protection service” NCSO’s funds. Among them are the photos presenting the life of the people of Goris, monuments of Goris.
Ethnographer Khoren Grigoryan and photograph Ashot Movsesyan have already made a tour in Tegh, Khot, Shinuhayr, Qarahunj, Vaghatour, Tatev villages and recorded what changes the settlements have undergone.
Villages having cascade type architecture which were almost completely emptied in the 1960s are many in the photos of Guros.
The members of Guros album’s creative group not only take photos of settlements and monuments once photographed by Guros and prove their changes, but also try to get informed about the changes of the territories’ old monuments and settlements. The locals help to find the precise location of the shot a and support the works of the creative group with great enthusiasm.
“From the conversations with them it turned out that the main reason for those villages to get emptied was the policy led by the soviet authorities in the 1960s in the sphere of urban planning, when instead of all ancient cities and villages, industrial and economic cities were built with flat and simple layout.
The creation of new type of settlements parallel with the development of Soviet Armenia closes an important page of Armenian architecture. In the past, settlement used to be built on unapproachable places, on cliffs, which was of defensive significance, with which residents protected themselves from the enemy’s raids and attacks of nomadic tribes. While Soviet authority was sure that the problem no longer existed, as all the nations of the Soviet union were friends and urban planning was led according to that principle. As it was mentioned about architecture, I should mention one more example. Apart from taking photos in Tatev monastery, he mentioned that the architectural appearance of the complex has changed, according to him especially two-storey belfry was a result of wrong architecture, because of which the dome of the church was collapsed. Of course Guros’s camera has authenticated the complex both in collapsed condition and the further restored cadres”, mentioned ethnographer Khoren Grigoryan.
Photographer Ashot Movsesyan also tries to capture today’s Tatev monastic complex.
Khoren Grigoryan mentioned another interesting fact, when people left their settlements they had to use the building materials of their traditional houses as a material for the new settlement.
“We have examples, that this old window and door are still saved by the residents, have not been thrown away or used as a fuel, this is a unique memory from the former settlement”, mentioned Khoren Grigoryan. In his words today’s residents don’t forget about the cemetries left by their ancestors.
“You see we have reached to these cozy corners of Syunik in the traces of Guros, but through the photos taken by Guros we try to restore the history of a whole century, this means, photos play their role of “document” , added Khoren Grigoryan.