Diana Markosian: Santa Barbara

Photographs by Diana Markosian. Text by Diana Markosian and Lynda Myles.


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Diana Markosian’s Santa Barbara recreates the story of her family’s journey from post-Soviet Russia to the U.S. in the 1990s.

The project pulls together staged scenes, film stills, and family pictures in an innovative and compelling hybrid of personal and documentary storytelling. In it, the artist grapples with the reality that her mother, seeking a better life for herself and her two young children, came to America as a mail-order bride. Markosian’s mother chose her future husband because he lived in Santa Barbara, a city made famous in Russia when the 1980s soap opera of that name became the first American television show broadcast there.

Weaving together reenactments by actors, archival images, stills from the original Santa Barbara TV show, Markosian reconsiders her family’s story from her mother’s perspective, relating to her for the first time as a woman, and coming to terms with the profound sacrifices she made to become an American.


Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 216
Number of images: 116
Publication date: 11-17-2020
Measurements: 11 x 8.5 inches
ISBN: 9781597114721

Photographs by Diana Markosian. Text by Diana Markosian and Lynda Myles.

Diana Markosian (born in Moscow, 1989) is a Russian American photographer of Armenian descent. Her photographs have been published in National Geographic, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. She holds a Master of Science from Columbia University. Her work is represented by Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire in Paris.
Lynda Myles was a scriptwriter for twenty-two years on Santa Barbara, General Hospital, and One Life to Live, among other TV shows. She received two Daytime Emmys as part of the Santa Barbara Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team.

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