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  nunenik 2007-11-20 12:44

Dear Marko,
It's a good photo showing the atmosphere of urban Yerevan (yes there are many of these square buildings that don't look very charming in anyone's eyes), but to call it human-unfriendly... come on!
I myself have lived in a building almost identical to these, and I still do whenever I'm in Yerevan, and I've never ever thought of it as unfriendly or gloomy. The buildings don't have much charm because they date back to the Soviet times when beauty wasn't the issue but the quick relocations and making space for people to live in.
Perhaps the gloomy effect you got is because of the fact that the appartments all look different from outside, as every household is allowed to renovate as they wish and the city council doesn't require a homogeneity for the buildings. But people actually live in these buildings, so to categorize them as ruins...
And because they're all made from an identical type of stone (the tuf), I personally think these buildings are what give Yerevan part of its charm and certainly the rose colour.

Sorry for the long comment, but I'm really disappointed that you think of my city (and buildings still happily inhabited by people) as ruins. Especially that you say yourself you desaturated the colours of the photo to make it more gloomy!

Nun

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Old 11-22-2007, 11:23 AM
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mpetrovic mpetrovic is offline
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hey Nunenik
it is always interesting to me seeing people's reactions like yours. I had no intentions to do anything bad or unfair to anyone here. It is just photography after all, but you have to remember that photography on TrekEarth has mission to show us the world where we all live.
Therefore, it is really easy and sweet n all, to put photos of bright parks, prominent buildings, churches, statues etc.. But I think we should pay attention also to the other side of reality, posting photos of real places without big 'attraction' index, which shows us exactly what TrekEarth is about - the real world around us.
And lets be honest now. Yerevan is charming cosmopolitan city, Armenians are one of the kindest people I ever met, and all I have in mind when remembering Armenia are memories of some of the greatest moments I ever lived through.
But Yerevan isn't Vienna, Prague, Dubrovnik.. And you know it! (you can't be subjective here, u wrote you live in Denmark, so come on!). I can't put right information as I'm not into official data, but subjectively, much much of Yerevan needs urgent help. Mostly in infrastructure, then in other development.
And there are these blocks buildings. Yes Nune, they really look horrible to me and to most of the Armenians whom I spoke with. That doesn't mean I say anything about the people, armenians are great people, why would I actually go and temporary live there, eh? But yes, objectively, most of these living blocks, to my perception, need reparation. That's just Yerevan's/Armenian reality. We can pretend that everything is rose and pinky, but it is not. Concrete is decaying, metal(!) roofs are corroding, poverty is more than obvious, traffic is chaotic (mild word for it), etc... And most of these in a real abnormal high scale (well, i mostly compare with my country which is considered as underdeveloped too). At least, these issues are not only Armenian problems, but it's on Armenia to improve itself.
I think we should really use TrekEarth for presenting the 'other side' of life and look, of various places. Being too emotional here, well, is kind of useless, but maybe I just like pragmatism by its definition
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:35 PM
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I greatly support and salute the idea of posting pictures that show the reality, Marko. But you can't claim that your photo here shows reality as you said yourself in your note that you have desaturated the colours artificially. That ain't reality, first of all.
Second: yes I've been living in Denmark for a few years and now I live in Geneva, and yes I know perfectly well that Yerevan isn't Vienna or Dubrovnik. It has never tried to be. But to claim that it's sad and gloomy...
Third: "underdeveloped too"? You still use that term? I've never thought of any country as underdeveloped, and I'm sorry to say but certainly not Armenia. It's not a rich country, no secret. And yes it has lots of poverty and other problems to fight (again, no secret), but it's enough for people to get by. I myself am fully aware of those problems and the downsides of the place, and if needed I criticize it myself. I don't like the superficial "everyone was so nice" type of presentations of Armenian either (believe it or not), but I just couldn't help writing a comment to say my point of view too.
Fourth: I didn't try to be emotional about this, and I'm still not. I believe I can claim to be a bit more objective about Yerevan, since I haven't lived there for a long time, I'm not 100% an insider.
And in any case, even if I were being emotional, I wouldn't regret it because it's my country after all and I believe I have the right to make myself heard too, I also have my opinion and viewpoint, both as an Armenian and someone who hasn't lived there for quite a while. Sorry but I just couldn't bypass your post with such a title and strong note. Sorry for being honest.
Nun
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