CNN article on Lichk village
YEREVAN, AUGUST 18, ARMENPRESS. In the Armenian village of Lichk, you will find many hard-working women, but you will not find many men. Armenpress reports the aforementioned, referring to the article “A town that’s lost its men” of “CNN”.
The article notes that all these women's husbands are thousands of miles away. Because of the poor economic situation of this village, 90% of its working-age men have left for better-paying construction jobs in Russia. So for eight or nine months a year, women run the village.
These are sturdy women. A grit and strength sustain them as they bravely take care of not only their families, but also their village as a whole.
Photographer Julien Pebrel had been working in the Caucasus region when he heard rumors of towns without men. He and his translator did some investigating and found the stories were true. He spent two weeks in September 2013 documenting the lives of the women of Lichk.
There is a great sense of community among the women. Everything is a team effort, from working the land, uprooting vegetables, herding the livestock across dirt roads, sheering curly-haired sheep, baking flat bread and raising wide-eyed little ones.
While there is a great deal of determined patience required for both the husbands and wives, the winter months are a time of pure celebration. When the men return at the end of the year, the village is filled with weddings, parties and births. It's a time of joyful reuniting. (Although Pebrel said he overheard stories of children who did not recognize their fathers when they returned.)
Julien Pebrel is a photographer based in Paris. He is a member of the MYOP Agency.