hidden features

sunrise canyon apparitions: a story about dreamers by azniv andreasyan


The Hovhannisyans family sold their flat in the city, took their favorite books by Hemingway and Kafka and moved to live in an abandoned Soviet time kolkhoz in the canyon near the village of Arevatsag in Armenia (‘arevatsag’ translated from Armenian means ‘sunrise’).

“Back in the Soviet era, when I was a student, I would dream that this all was over, the regime failed, so I could have a right to own a piece of land to make my own home however I want,” – Arthur (51), the father, says, “We moved to live here, not because we had to, but because we wanted. It was our choice.”

It took the family years to bring running water and electricity to this remote place. Meanwhile Noone, the mother, worked hard all day long helping her husband to cultivate the land, and in the evenings would teach her school-age sons Jivan and Argam philosophy, literature, music and all the knowledge they would need to grow up “honest and intelligent” she said.

They moved to this place to build their small peaceful world in nature, far from people. But 4 years ago an accident took the life of their 17-year-old son Argam. Noone had health problems that, after Argam’s death, grew into a tumor in her head, affecting her eyes. She is losing her sight and fading away day after day. The story is an attempt to show their life in Sunrise Canyon from her perspective, with the haze on the images.


Azniv Andreasyan is a journalist and photographer from Armenia. In 2007 she joined Patker Photo Agency as a projects manager.  Having received her Master’s degree in journalism in 2008, she was involved in National Geographic Traveler Magazine Armenian edition as a writer and editor. In 2009 she completed the photojournalism course established by the World Press Photo in the Caucasus Institute, Yerevan. A year later, together with her colleagues established Ruben Mangasaryan Memorial Foundation (RMMF), which aims to promoting photojournalism and documentary photography in Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh, and the Caucasus.

Azniv’s recent work tackles social, political, and environmental issues. Since 2013 has been elaborating long term regional project about disappearing ethnic minorities.