acting Armenia performing arts Razmik Zackaryan street performance theatre



// Razmik is an Armenian documentary and street photographer based in the capital city Yerevan. In 2018 he was able to photograph the “rock theatre” performance of “Kyores”, which was staged in the territory of the Old Goris Historical and Cultural Reserve-Museum.

Razmik is interested in street and documentary photography that shows the cultural and socio-political life of people. “What I like about street photography is that it is always unique and never repeats itself, and it has a very great anthropological value,” he says. He works on photographic projects dedicated to the urban environment, problems and conflicts in society, as well as art that reimagines all of this. “Photography for me is a method of exploring human habitat and a means of capturing time/space.”

“Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”

Alfred Stieglitz

What draws you to the arts?

“One of the main human abilities is the ability to imagine. Art begins with imagination, it creates an additional reality that enriches a person and is a tool for self-expression and self-knowledge.”

What impressed you most about the street theatre performance?

“By covering the programme as a photographer, I witnessed such a unique performance for the first time. It surprised me not only with its location, but also with its interactivity and immediacy. The performance reproduced the customs of Old Goris, the inhabitants’ everyday life mixed with the works of Armenian and international literature classics, including the elements of immersion and a “performance in performance” format. The unique fusion of acting and space seemed to have created a new reality where people and nature have found the point of solidarity which is so lacking in our daily lives.”

Goris town is located in Zangezur, a historical district of Armenia that includes modern-day Syunik and part of the Vayots Dzor region, about 250 km from the capital Yerevan. The area is picturesque, surrounded by hills, rocks, caves and ravines. Known to have been settled from the 13th century, dwellings were originally builg by carving houses into cone-shaped rocks and people were also living in the caves. Goris grew to a city in the 19th century, and its historical centre has not been dramatically affected by later changes. It is for this reason that there are efforts underway to maintain the rich cultural heritage and the local traditions, including the rehabilitation of the Old Goris cave town. It was declared a cultural capital by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in 2018.

The cave theater – “amphitheatre”, as the locals call it, is a high-ceilinged rock cave with a spacious hall that extends to the depths, dominated by stone benches. Shown here are some photographs from the performance of “Kyores” at the Old Goris Historical and Cultural Reserve-Museum. When Razmik visited, the actors performed on a two-storey stage was located near the entrance. “It had wonderful acoustics due to the peculiarities of the structure and the rock type,” Razmik says. The theatre was in regular operation until the 20th century. Now the The State Drama Theatre Of Goris tries to restore the tradition, presenting outdoor performances to local and foreign audiences regularly.

This performance took place within the framework of the “Goris – CIS Cultural Capital of 2018” interstate program.

Click on the photos to see the full size images. Some images may be cropped for layout.


Visit Razmik´s website and his Instagram gallery for more amazing photos.