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Diàna Markosian

Diàna Markosian is a photographer whose images explore the relationship between memory and place. Born in the former Soviet Union, her family immigrated to the United States when she was a child. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, the New Yorker, and the New York Times.


Milad Ahkabyar's hand-drawn map of his family's route from Afghanistan to Germany. The journey cost them $26,000, which they raised through selling their home, their livestock, jewelry, whatever they could.

Milad’s Arrival

Spring 2017 | Photography

He doesn’t know his birthday, exactly, because the Gregorian calendar is still a puzzle. But he knows his age, more or less, and he knows where he hails from—a village near Ghazni, Afghanistan, which he visits in dreams now and then. Milad Ahkabyar and his family fled their village in the fall of 2015 to escape persecution from the Taliban. For three months, they traveled by nearly every means to reach Germany, setting foot in seven countries along the way. They landed in Düsseldorf, at a former municipal building turned shelter where hundreds of families navigate the next step—toward asylum or deportation. In the meantime, somewhere along that perplexing calendar, Milad turned fourteen.