Tag Archive | Azerbaijan

Jiray: A Citizen in Absentia

I had made the mistake of sitting almost directly under the speakers that provided music for the whole cafe. Some soft rock was playing right above our heads, and it seemed to rain down directly into my recorder. Still our conversation moved along. “And um, but, it seems like the way that I feel constantly changes. You know it goes from not thinking about the place [Baku, Azerbaijan], there’s nothing that ties me to there, but at the same time I lived there for thirteen years. You can’t take that out, you can’t take that away.” I nodded in agreement. At the start of this project, I didn’t think I was going to be examining the spaces of diaspora (whether those spaces are emotional, mental, cultural, geographical, etc.). But here I was, listening to a woman describe the constant tension she experienced in trying to reconcile her relationship with two different homes (Providence and Baku).

That sense of home, however bifurcated, was tied directly to the people she was with. In Baku, her fellow Bakutsi Armenians, her Azerbaijani neighbors, her Russian schoolmates Read More…