2005 - ongoing
Back in Soviet times, my father, who was of Armenian origin, once dreamed of building a family home in Kaltene by the sea in Latvia, a place to live the rest of his life in and to bring up children. Although the architectural blueprint was designed and the foundations of the house laid, his dream never reached fruition: his young life was cut short by a heart attack when I was only six months old at the time. I don't remember my father, but I still remember my grandfather who used to come from Tbilisi to Kaltene when I was a little child.
When I've lost my father I've also lost an access to Armenian identity in the area where we were the only family with Armenian genetics. This was my assimilation.
Now I’ve decided to follow his footsteps, trace the past and create a story about my father, our genetics, Armenian diaspora in Latvia and Georgia, and history of the land of my forefathers in Georgia and Armenia. “Krunk” means “crane” in Armenian and it is a symbol of longing for one’s homeland, a song sung by wanderers that embodies the historical fate of the Armenian people. The song, composed by Komitas and sung for centuries, has become a quasi-official state hymn, a hymn of sadness and longing.
My deepest roots can be found in Armenia, for I believe that the Armenian spirit lives within me. True, I was born in Latvia, but am I a Latvian? Would I be able to return to the homeland of my great-grandfather and to spread my roots in Armenia’s soil? The questions outnumber the answers, and, in searching for the latter, I appealed to the Armenian soil itself, by bringing and planting in it an acorn from one of our Latvian oak trees. Will it manage to grow and spread its roots in the Armenian soil? It seems that only time will tell.
Georgs Avetisjans is a bookmaker, photographer and designer from Latvia of Armenian origin. He has graduated from the University of Brighton (UK) in 2016 with an MA in Photography. Lived in the USA and the UK for seven years, and had several exhibitions in Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, China, Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, France, Denmark, Poland and the UK. Most recently nominated and selected for the Riga Photography Biennial Award 2019 Seeking the Latest in Photography, Poznań Photo Diploma Award 2019, 2nd Prize winner of “Different Worlds 2017” at the Photon – Centre for Contemporary Photography and Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers’ Award 2017 in partnership with Photo London and RBB Economics. In July 2018 he published his first photobook “Homeland. The Longest Village in the Country” during the opening week of Les Rencontres d’Arles in France, and officially launched on November 2018 together with a solo show at the Latvian Museum of Photography in Riga, Latvia.