Ayo!’s Present

One day we started discussing how we could give a present to our Ayo! friends and make some news at the same time. We came up with an idea and by cooperating with Photo Atelier Marashlian in Yerevan we made it happen: A public photo booth in Yerevan that would encapsulate and celebrate Armenian culture during the most important week of the year, the recognition of 100 years since the Armenian Genocide.

We decided that photos should include Armenian traditional dresses called taraz, and we knew this would turn out to be something interesting. So on April 20th we installed a small stage in Republic Square where people could come and take photos with our model Ellen dressed in taraz. The background was a big photo of Ani and there was an old frame in the foreground to give the photos an old-timey feel. And voila, we began.

From the very first day our booth was so popular that we barely managed to keep up with all the photo requests! And they didn’t stop. Our little “present” turned into a great time for everyone – including us. For us, it was also memorable to have such a huge amount of support from our group of teenage volunteers – Ellen, Arman, Karpis, Mariam, etc. – who helped us to organize the whole thing. And they liked it so much they want to volunteer for our future Ayo! projects, too.

Many funny and interesting things happened during the photo booth’s seven-day run, like Ellen getting a marriage proposal from a young fellow from Iran and our group photo with a bunch of bikers from the USA, but the most important thing was that everyone who participated was interested in both Armenia and Ayo!

You can check out all the photos here: www.weareayo.org/photos

You see, with support we can make big things happen.

Helena and Ayo! team (Jemma and Armen)