On 17 September 2016, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), within the framework of the EU-funded project “Support to Migration and Border Management in Armenia” (MIBMA), organised a photo exhibition “Migration Moves” at the Aram Khachaturian museum. The authors of the photos are prominent Armenian photographers Mr. Vigen Mnoyan and Mr. German Avagyan.
The aim of the exhibition was to raise awareness and enhance public understanding of the topics of migration through visual means and to counter exclusively negative stereotypes of migration that circulate in the media and the society. The photo exhibition featured 50 photographs of labour migrants, refugees from Syria and returnees and presented their individual stories after settling in Armenia. The featured migrants’ stories relate to several policy areas covered by the MIBMA project, which aims to improve policies in the areas of refugees and asylum, integration and re-integration of migrants.
The photo exhibition was opened by Mr. Carel Hofstra, Team Leader of the MIBMA project, who presented the project and emphasized the importance of such events in the social and cultural life of Armenia. The event was attended by intellectuals, photographers, journalists, and general public. The individuals whose stories were portrayed at the exhibition were also among attendees, who were able to personally tell their stories. They gave interviews to various media outlets, thus, reaching a broader audience on the subject migration.
The exhibition features many human stories from Syunik and Shirak regions; therefore, photo exhibitions will be organized in Kafan city and Gyumri city with a view to raise public awareness in those regions.
Mr. Vigen Mnoyan is the artist behind 14 photo exhibitions on social issues, including socially vulnerable adults, old artists, war veterans, and children in Armenia and abroad. He is the Vice President of the “Armenian Photography National Association” (APNA) and the representative of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) in Yerevan. Mr. German Avagyan is a photographer who dedicated his life, efforts and art to presenting social issues to the Armenian society through photography. His photo-projects, such as ‘Mental Health’, ‘Lethal Toys,’ and ‘Stolen Childhood,’ appeared not only in the local press but also abroad, featured by CNN.