Alvaro Deprit – Black Garden

Dana Stolzgen

Black Garden

Nagorno Karabakh / 2010 May.

Inside the narrow valleys of the Caucasus Mountains there is a country not appearing in the maps: Nagorno-Karabakh, which name – a mixed of Russian, Turkish and Persian languages – means Mountainous Black Garden.
This self-proclaimed republic is the result of a cruel conflict – 20 to 30 thousand victims – that started in the 1988, when its majority Armenian population started demanding the independence from the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan.
People in Karabakh try to survive as they can.
The recognition of Kosovos independence by Western powers as the recognition by Russia of South Osetia and Abkhazia – two secessionist regions of Georgia – are the facts that made the Karabakhians think they could become a real country.




Alvaro Deprit, Madrid 1977.

Alvaro Deprit has been living in Italy since 2004 and divides his time between Rome and Istanbul. He studied German Philology in Germany and Sociology in Italy. A self-taught photographer, Alvaro has deepened his understanding of photographic languages by attending courses in Spain with Pep Bonet, Sheryl Mendez and Christian Caujolle.

He is particularly interested in the Turkish culture and its modernization, changes in post-Soviet South Caucasus, and immigration in Europe, which explores various forms of adaptation.

Alvaro has exhibited his photos in Rome, Barcelona, London and New York and has worked for Il Sole 24ore, Newsweek, Internazionale, Vanity Fair, Viva Magazine, ElPeriodico, Yo Dona, Glamour, Sette and Altair.


Related links

Alvaro Deprit – OnOff Picture Photo Agency

19 Responses to “Alvaro Deprit – Black Garden”

  • My Macbook screen does not do these images justice.

    Would LOVE to see these as prints.

    Number 3 is superb.

  • I have to say, this is such a beautifully told story.
    The texture, the light, the colors are just perfect.
    Congratulations Alvaro.

  • Great work, powerful images. Powerful WINTER images.
    COngrats for being published here on burnmag.

    I’ve seen pretty much the same story in Jonas Bendiksen “Satellites”, and pretty much the same pictures and the same compostion as well.
    Like a twin story.
    Nevertheless a great work.


  • I like the feeling of this essay. It’s almost like been there…it puts me there.. Cold…sad…miserable…
    which leads me to ask if the photographer saw any moments of happiness while shooting there.
    The range of human emotions is vast and not limited to a sorrowful state.

    #2 and #3 stand out for me. Love those two.
    #5 is also a great shot.

    Good essay! Congratulations.

  • These people ARE happy. They have their land back.

  • Haik,

    Do they look happy to you? perhaps that went completely over my head. I mean the fact that they have their land back as you say but surely there must be a moment when these people smile, laugh, perhaps even make a joke. There is hardly any emotion portrayed on those faces except a feeling of somber.
    This is what I’m talking about.
    This essay does a great job in giving a feeling of despair and I like that (not the condition of these people) but again that is not what I’m referring to here.

    Like I said above….it’s a good essay but it struck me not to see any sign of “happiness”.
    Perhaps that was done on purpose and consciously by the photographer?

  • A nightmare, beautifully told, superbly rendered. May the happiness they feel in having their land back propel the rebuilding of their lands and communities.

    Magnificent work, Alvaro Deprit.

  • “Do they look happy to you?”
    No they don’t. I wasn’t referring to what is depicted in this essay but my own experience and knowledge.
    The perception from the essay is that these people have nothing now and nothing to expect in the future which is rather untrue. While images are beautiful, they do not convey the reality of what is happening in Karabakh, or Artsakh as it should be called if you want to be an inside story teller. Obviously, there are artifacts and drama of the past war but it is in the past and that is how it is felt now.

  • I sometimes wonder if some parts of the world perpetually shrouded in fog and all the people are permanently depressed. I also like these images, including the ones mentioned already. The final image is an exclamation point on a hopeless dead end, as distant figures go from one dead end to another in a lifeless ruinous place.

    It’s hard to fault a photographer for portraying something that isn’t real, since that’s the nature of photography to begin with and very little here is real, though it corresponds to a reality that each photographer knows.

    But what happens when portraying the reality of the subjects gets muddled with the vision of reality (or the emotional state) of the photographer? The results are deceptive, such as the many bleak, dreary worlds that photographers seem to find (when they’re not in India).

    When I look at a series like this, unless I take it as purely expressive, I want a more complete perspective as well.

  • “I sometimes wonder if some parts of the world perpetually shrouded in fog and all the people are permanently depressed.”……..that’s the way Western European photographers like to depict the ex eastern Soviet block. Or it may be due to the hangovers they procure from drinking the cheap booze and being rejected by the local damsel they chose to exploit…………….

  • cheap booze
    you wish. booze ( aka vodka ) is the best in there. trust me. made from cranberries. hangover’s the same though.

    Seriously, look at this essay
    Done in the same place by a person who never lived there but of the same nationality as locals. It has a better spectrum of the WHAT.

  • You gotta know where to look and buy……..

  • ……….and have horse trader mentality

  • Brilliant. Beautiful. Moving.

  • Haik,

    THanks for explaining and for the link to the other essay.

  • Regarding Haik’s link, I much prefer this color essay. Can’t really say which, if either, provides a more accurate depiction of reality, but I love the color photography in this one. And the last photo adds a lot of poignancy to a lot of what came before. One of the better depictions of modern war in one single photo that I recall having seen.

  • Mis feliciyaciones Álvaro!

    Veo tus trabajos en OnOff en este momento. Tengo una pregunta en mente que no logro articular por completo aun, es sobre el intercambio de disciplinas… bueno, regreso. Mientras veo lo tuyo.

  • Yes, yes, yes! Fantastic set of photos here. Loving it.

  • Hi Alvaro, thanks for showing us these.

    An interesting essay: quiet, slow, considered.
    I liked no’s 2,4 and 19 in particular. They spoke to me about the place, without being over-dramatic.

    Good luck with the project mate.


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