Life on the border in Azerbaijan

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan have taken a turn for the worse over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that lies near the lesser Caucasus mountain range. While both countries claim the territory, it has been occupied by Armenian forces since the signing of a ceasefire in 1994 that put an end to six years of conflict between the two countries. Since then, life for villagers near the borders – not just of Nagorno-Karabakh, but also the international border between the countries – has been punctuated by periodic shootings, mine explosions and other threats that prevent them from living peaceful and prosperous lives.

With Azerbaijani partner Humanitarian Research Public Union, Saferworld wanted to raise awareness of what daily life is like for these communities. As part of a participatory photo project, we supported a photographer to travel to affected villages in Azerbaijan along the international border and hold photography trainings for local residents, providing them with the skills and equipment they would need to capture what it is like to live along a militarised border. This exhibition showcases some of their work.