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Diana Markosian’s (@markosian) images confront the haunted human condition of those who have experienced the numbing effects of loss. The 26-year-old photographer has focused her lens on the survivors of traumatic and sensitive historical events — the Beslan school massacre, the Chechen wars and the 1915 Armenian genocide — and documented her own reconciliation with her long lost father. “I was seven when I was taken away from him,” Diana says. “The year was 1996.” Fleeing a desperate situation in Russia with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Diana’s mother looked to California in search of a better life. “She decided to move us to Santa Barbara, based on the American soap opera, which we watched in our tiny apartment in Moscow,” says Diana. “She woke me up and told me to pack my belongings.” Fifteen years later, when she and her father were reunited, Diana says she felt numb and out of place. “There he was. A stranger,” she recalls. “He didn’t recognize me, and I didn’t recognize him either.” Diana longed to know him better, so she moved in with him six months later. “We began to take images of each other. It was a way for us to create new memories without the past intruding,” she says. “The collaboration became a turning point in the way I approach my photography.” Photo by @markosian

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