Նվարդ Երկանյան | Nvard Yerkanian
I’m presenting you my photostory about a woman, who works in Zeytun Cemetery. This is a full photo story from 11 photos made in May 2008.
Daunting as they are, the cemeteries need treatment and care. In a place where sorrow is in the air and there is an overwhelming feeling of loneliness, I have met Emma and Rosa – two women full of energy who have adopted the role of cemetery’s caretakers.
When I got to know them, it turned out that they were the only support of her family. The younger woman, Emma has no husband in her 45 – he has left her with a daughter and a son, who have both reached puberty only short time ago. Puberty is not a big factor anyway – the two never leave the house; they have no opportunity to either study or work.
Each day starts with the dawn for Emma. She wakes up, tidies up her bed and puts up a thick layer of makeup. Then she drinks her coffee and heads to work to the cemetery, leaving her kids asleep.
Emma’s duty is looking after the cemetery. People who have not been in the country for a while come here occasionally, failing to find the graves of their relatives. For them Emma is the only guide to find the way — she is well familiar with each of the residents of the cemetery. After finishing the business, the living leave some money for Emma as she is looking after the dead. Departing from the country again, they leave Emma to make company for their relatives.
But Emma is more to the cemetery than a maid and a best friend. She assists the workers with any building work at the graves, putting the stone, covering with lining and more.
During the whole day Emma’s energy is full and her makeup is on.
She told me that after her divorce nobody tried to help her — neither relatives, nor friends, nor the state structures. She had to raise her children on her own, and thus she went to the cemetery, looking for salvation among the dead.
With best regards
~ by Derdzyan on March 13, 2010.