Diana Markosian is known for her collaborative approach to storytelling. She explores themes of family and immigration through a layered, interdisciplinary process that uses video, photography, found images, and historical ephemera. This approach has led her to document the story of her mother’s journey from Russia to America as well as a project on survivors of the 1915 Armenian genocide who are tracing their lost homeland.
Born in the former Soviet Union, Markosian immigrated to America as a child. In 2010, she received her master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. It was there that she discovered an interest in photography. “There was a real curiosity, a hunger to see the world, and photography gave me a backstage pass.” Immediately after graduating, Markosian moved to Russia where she spent the following years working on her first project, Goodbye My Chechnya (2012), in which she explored the lives of young Chechens as they came of age in a republic that was rapidly redefining itself after two decades of war.
Markosian’s work has since taken her to some of the most remote corners of the world, where she has produced both personal and editorial work. The deep connection she forges with her subjects is central to her practice and has only deepened with time. Her project ‘Inventing My Father’ explores the absence of her father, who she left in Moscow when her family immigrated. “Through my images, my father became alive again. The photographs I made helped fill gaps, confirm impressions, and offer proof where none existed before. I am not sure if photography can ever bridge that gap, but it has allowed us to create something that is ours.”
Her awards include a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2019), World Press Photo Award (2019), Magnum Foundation Fund Grant (2018), Elliott Erwitt Foundation (2019), Chris Hondros Fund Award (2015), Firecracker Grant (2014), and Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund (2013). Her first monograph, ‘Santa Barbara’ was published by Aperture in 2020 and is accompanied by a show that premiered at Les Recontres d’Arles in (2020) before moving to San Francisco MOMA (2021) and International Center of Photography, NYC (2021). Markosian is represented by Rose Gallery in Los Angeles and Galerie Filles du Calvaire in Paris, France.