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Azerbaijan: The Elegance of Fire & The Massacre of Innocents by REZA

REZA . | Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Lerik District, June 1, 2011
A woman stands amidst fields of wild flowers on the foothills of the mountains in Lerik. She wears a head covering to shield herself from the dust and the oppressive heat. Lerik has earned a reputation for being the “home of those who live to a great age.”

In 1987, I have been invited to Baku and I am looking forward to seeing it. I’m convinced that I shall find something of my own childhood there. This is my first travel in this country which is part of the Soviet bloc. Since that journey, I have visited Azerbaijan several times as a photojournalist. I’ve covered the decisive, tragic moments in the history of the country for the international media, including Black January in 1990, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno- Karabakh conflict and the massacre in Azerbaijani town of Khojaly in 1992.

I have often returned to Azerbaijan as an observer and witness of a country undergoing rapid change. My photographs tell my nearly 30 years of history of a land and the struggle of its people for independence. They take a look at a people with an ancestral culture which is in the midst of a major evolution as they turn towards modernity.

This exhibition marks the publication of two works: Azerbaijan, The Elegance of Fire and Azerbaijan, The Massacre of the Innocents. 

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