Ara Oshagan | How The World Might Be

Ara Oshagan joined Michael in the JKC Gallery to talk about his work and his book, displaced, published by Kehrer Verlag. Ara is a descendant of family that was displaced by the Armenian Genocide and he was born in Beirut, Lebanon where his family was displaced again by the Lebanese Civil War. We talk about how his conceptual and documentary work about displacement and diaspora are so closely tied to his lived experience. The link to the flip-book in the notes will be helpful for you to see some of the work we discuss in this episode.

Real Photo Show is sponsored by the Charcoal Book Club and their new project, Charcoal Editions. A curated, online gallery selling open edition silver gelatin prints at more reasonable prices. Listeners get 10% off their purchases through the end of 2022, just type in realphotoshow in the promo box at checkout at

About Ara

I am a photographer and installation artist interested in disrupted and marginalized communities and identity.

I am shaped by a history of multi-­‐generational dislocation and diasporic identity. A descendant of families who were displaced from Western Armenia by the Armenian Genocide, I was born in Beirut, Lebanon. I grew up in the Armenian community with a French/Armenian/Arabic elementary education. Displaced once again by the Lebanese civil war, my family and Iarrived penniless to the US. I came of age in America. I do not belong to any single country nor language nor nationality. I live in-­‐between several languages and cultures, among multiple ways of thinking and ways of life.My identity is transnational and ambiguous: it is a process.

My work as a visual and installation artist springs from these sources: I am interested in the exploration of the ambiguities of my identity and the crossing of physical, cultural and linguistic boundaries. I live and work among disrupted and marginalized communities—communities that have been uprooted, dislocated and relocated and scattered again. Much of my research and work is about the sensibility and structure associated with this way of life. My own familial and personal history is deeply connected to the communities I photograph and engage in my artistic practice.