BOSTON, Mass.—American photographer and storyteller Winslow Martin will be offering a moving love letter to Armenia with We Wait For Your Return, a night of intimate stories, evocative imagery and music celebrating the beauty and soul of the Armenian people. Martin will take audience members on a unique journey from Watertown, Massachusetts, to Armenia with the help of award-winning Armenian composer Astghik Martirosyan and a five-piece band. We Wait For Your Return: A Love Letter to Armenia will premiere Saturday, May 7 at 8:00 PM at Blackman Auditorium on the campus of Northeastern University (342 Huntington Avenue). Tickets are available online.
The images from We Wait For Your Return form a remarkable tapestry, one photo a probing portrait, the next a poignant still life, another an extraordinary scene of a distinctive Armenian landscape, challenging and rewarding the viewer with the use of composition and light. Martin connects each image in We Wait For Your Return through his storytelling, taking audience members on a spiritual and artistic journey from his first meeting with Father Dajad Davidian at a Watertown church, through the deepening of their friendship, as it played out across their adventures together in Armenia.
Martin’s life as a photographer has been all about people—photographing the music world in Boston, serving as a commercial photographer and as senior staff photographer at Community Newspapers Company, where he was honored as Photographer of the Year by the New England Press Association. He is best known for documenting everyday life and historical events in Armenia, his passion for the last 20 years. Martin is now pouring all of his energy into sharing his Armenian images and stories with a broader audience. His purpose is simple—to bring greater attention and support to Armenia today, where Martin is spending April, preparing for a showcase of his work at the National Museum of Armenia in Yerevan.
“I fell in love with Armenia and I want to, in this performance, somehow give back to them,” said Martin. “When you are a photographer, you reach a point when the work isn’t just about you and the photography and your viewers. It is about what you owe to the people who so graciously opened their doors to you. You have to give back something because they have given so much of themselves.”
Martirosyan, an award-winning composer, has crafted a beautiful accompaniment to the evening. Armenian folk songs and liturgical music are interpreted in her arrangements along with her own original compositions, which support Martin’s storytelling and enhance the drama and emotion of his photographs. She will be the lead vocalist for a five-piece band, which will include a piano, bass, percussion and duduk, an Armenian reed instrument.
An Armenian born Los Angeles-based vocalist, composer and pianist, Martirosyan has collaborated and performed with renowned musicians including Dave Holland, Darek Oleszkiewicz and Johnny O’Neal. She is a recent recipient of the Magos Herrera Female Immigrant Musician Award (2022) from the International Human Rights Art Festival.
A portion of the proceeds from the evening will support Project SAVE, an organization that brings to light the culture and history of Armenians by making photographs and their stories, which otherwise would be lost, destroyed or forgotten, available for public and educational use.
I hope this film gets streaming options on PBS.