On Sunday, October 23, Hrair Hawk Khatcherian presented his latest books at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, entitled “Artsakh: The Photographer’s Eye and Armenia Heaven on Earth.”
Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor, introduced the well-known photographer. Lebanon-born Khatcherian moved to Canada in 1984 and became profoundly and permanently aware of his roots and his Armenian identity after the beginning of the Karabagh movement in 1988.
His photographic projects have taken him to Armenia, Artsakh, Crimea, Iran, Lebanon, Georgia, Turkey and the Holy Land. “It took 30 years and 100 trips to Armenia and Artsakh,” he said, describing a search that revealed khachkars in their diversity was well as commonality and their fate. They remain objects of reverence in Armenia. However, in Kurdish regions khachkars have been used as building materials, many have been deliberately defaced in Turkey and others have been bulldozed by the Azeris. Several khachkars photographed by Khatcherian were evacuated from Artsakh to Etchmiadzin at the end of the 2020 war. His photographs have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, books, and publications.
Khatcherian, a lively and engaging speaker, described the ambitious project and his many journeys that took him around the world. He shared his photographs with the audience, presenting his unique perspective on Armenian culture, history, and heritage through imagery. The photographs consisted mostly of Armenian churches, manuscripts and historical documents, and architectural samples from all over the world.
At the end of the presentation Khatcherian signed copies of his book.