Photography & mapping of the Janapar trail through Nagorno-Karabakh, an autonomous region between Armenia & Azerbaijan.
In late July and early August, we will be hiking the Himnakan Janapar or backbone trail, a route that travels through the heart of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) which is a self-proclaimed autonomous region between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
We will be creating a set of fine art photographic prints for a number of shows around the northeast and we’ll be creating a twenty-minute slideshow-documentary revealing the amazing people and landscape of the region. We will also use the GPS data that we collect along the way to create a map set and guidebook of the trail. This will be available for free as a PDF.
Along this recently devised north-south trail through Nagorno-Karabakh, we’ll be passing by a 2,000 year old tree, traveling through forests and canyons, dipping our feet in hot springs, crossing rivers, and exploring caves. On this journey, we’ll also hike through numerous remote villages, the capital Stepanakert, as well as countless historical sites.
If you have never heard of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR), you’re not alone. Currently, the NKR is not internationally recognized as a nation and therefore appears to fall entirely within the borders of Azerbaijan, at least according to most maps including Google Maps. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic operates as a sovereign nation governed by a democratically elected president and parliament, and has an estimated population of 140,000 predominantly ethnic Armenians. It encompasses a mostly mountainous area roughly the size of Delaware.
There is a long history of conflict in the area. Most recently, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan. This resulted in a war between Armenian national forces and Azeri troops, which, after much destruction and bloodshed, ended with a ceasefire in 1994, leaving the region in the hands of the ethnic Armenians, but still internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
Historically settled by both Armenians of Christian faith and Azeris who practice Islam, Nagorno-Karabakh reveals an interesting history of two intermingled cultures, with Mosques and extremely old churches located throughout the region.
Throughout this project we will explore a number of themes. We will use Eli's experience as a landscape photographer to showcase the amazing scenery and we’ll look at how people shape the landscape and how the landscape shapes them. We will also explore the devastating effects of war and how bombing in the cities and land mines in surrounding areas have impacted much of the landscape and infrastructure. We’ll explore how people in these areas persevere and are moving beyond the violent history to create a community of caring and support.
Julia lived in Nagorno-Karabakh for one year. Aided by her ability to speak Armenian, we will spend approximately two weeks hiking, photographing and mapping the Janapar trail, and another week exploring the region and towns surrounding the trail,while gathering stories and information from the people who live there. Our twenty-minute documentary-slideshow will use straight video, audio, and still photos, as well as more unique methods such as 360 degree panoramic photography and daytime and nighttime time-lapse. The PDF guidebook with maps that we’ll create will provide information on how to hike the trail, written in both English and Armenian.
A project such as this requires many resources. The money we hope to raise here will be used to fund all aspects of this endeavor, including transportation, food, lodging, the hiring of locals for numerous tasks, the printing, matting, and framing of a number of fine art prints, and most importantly the time needed to research and complete the hike, as well as the time to edit and produce the slideshow-documentary, map set and guidebook.
While in Nagorno-Karabakh, we will be sending updates as we progress and plan to have an online map showing our current location.
As you can see, we are providing great rewards for people who support our project.
We hope that you’ll be one of those people. If you have any questions, definitely be sure to contact us.
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Our sincere thanks!
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
We'll send you a custom printed postcard from Nagorno-Karabakh and we'll put your name as a "supporter" in the back of the guidebook. (If you don't receive it due to a 'not so reliable' postal system, we'll send you another when we return.)
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
All above, plus a Nagorno-Karabakh poster featuring one of the best images from the project.
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
All above, plus a set of six custom printed greeting cards, featuring scenes from the Janapar trail.
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
All above, plus a signed printed copy of the guidebook and maps.
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
All above, plus a signed limited edition 8" x 12" print. You can choose one of ten different images.
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All above, plus three additional (four total) limited edition prints. You can choose four from a set of ten different images.
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
All above, plus one 20" x 30" signed limited edition print OR four hours of private photography or Adobe Lightroom instruction at Eli's office or anywhere within 2.5 hours of Windsor, VT.
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
All above, plus get the 20" x 30" photo matted and framed with archival materials, OR a full day (8 hours) of private photography or Adobe Lightroom instruction at Eli's office or anywhere within 2.5 hours of Windsor, VT
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
All above, plus we'll name our next pet after you, or give it a name of your choosing. (And it won't be a fish!)
- (28 days)