Looking Back - Diana Markosian

After Nettie’s The Austrian Shoebox and my own piece about lost photographs The Silence of Lost Photographs Wanting to Speak, I came across Diana Markosia very personal story.

Having confronted my own family history a few years back with Family Secrets Revisited, a visual essay which freed me form the demons that have haunted me like a shadow and while Diana’s story is different from mine, it is the medium that unites us. The medium that tells our story, giving a voice to the tears, pain and the many questions we have pain.

Diana Markosian is a documentary photographer and writer based out of Yangon, Burma. Her reporting has taken her from Russia's volatile North Caucasus, to the ancient Silk Road in Tajikistan and overland to the remote Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan.

Her images have appeared in The New York Times, Le Monde, The Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Foreign Policy,, World Policy Journal, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, amongst others. A diverse number of organizations have recognized her work, including The Magnum Emerging Photographer Fund, Open Society Institute, the National Press Photographers Association, UNICEF and Reuters. In 2013, Diana was selected to participate in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.

She holds a masters from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

My Father, The Stranger
by Diana Markosian

I've traveled halfway around the world to meet my father who I was separated from following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I knocked on the door of a stranger.

               I've traveled halfway around the world to meet him.

     My father. 

I was seven years old when I last saw him.

           As the Soviet Union collapsed, so did my family.

I remember my father and I dancing together in our tiny apartment in Moscow and him giving me my first doll.

                          I also remember him leaving.

Sometimes he would be gone for months at a time and then unexpectedly be back.

Until, one day, it was our turn to leave. 

My mother woke me up and told me to pack my belongings. She said we were going on a trip. The next day, we arrived at our new home, California.

We hardly ever spoke of my father. I had no pictures of him, and over time, forgot what he looked like.

I often wondered what it would have been like to have a father.

I still do. 

          ©2013 Diana Markosian - All Rights Reserved


Diana Markosian, 
     Full length version, My Father, The Stranger

Nettie Edwards, 

Egmont van Dyck, 

All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
©2014 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved

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