Portland’s Lilit Danielyan to showcase documentary project Along the Closed Borders
August 1, 2022—Award-winning, self-taught visual artist Lilit Danielyan will present her 2021 documentary project Along the Closed Borders at St. Lawrence Arts in Portland on August 9. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and Danielyan’s presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Along Closed Borders documents everyday rural life in Armenia along the closed borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey. It tells a story about these border regions and their residents, who have lived through two wars. The project received an Award of Excellence in the Documentary category at the 2021 International College Photographer of the Year Competition.
Danielyan began this project following her work capturing the portraits featured in Islandport Press’s Dear Maine. Written by Reza Jalali and Rielly Morgan, Dear Maine recounts the trials and triumphs of twenty immigrants who have arrived in Maine over the past few decades. Each profile is accompanied by Danielyan’s masterful black and white photographs. Copies of Dear Maine will be available for purchase at the event.
Danielyan is a self-taught visual artist. She was born in Armenia but grew up in Central Kazakhstan, where her family moved shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Her first camera was a Soviet-made Zenit and she used it to capture images and narratives of her family, their villages, and the world around her in the aftermath of the conflicts. She immigrated to the United States alone in 2012 seeking to further her education. She currently lives in Portland.
Since 2015, Danielyan has been working on documentary photography projects shot between three countries, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and America, that explore the subjects of identity, belonging, and nostalgia. In 2018, she became a Sam Abell Endowed Scholarship recipient at the Maine Media Workshops + College. Danielyan is also a member of the 2022 Women Photograph Mentorship Class, which pairs photographers early in their careers with industry professionals. She is a student at Smith College in Massachusetts studying psychology and plans to return to Armenia after graduation to create a film.
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