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Art Therapy: Wounded Artsakh War Vet Turns to Moths

Eric Mkrtchyan fought as a gunner in the 2020 Artsakh War.

Injured in an Azerbaijani drone attack, the 23-year-old has been receiving therapy at Yerevan’s Soldier’s Home Rehabilitation Center.

Every weekday at 11, Eric goes to the Soldier's House workshop. Here, the young men work with moths, composing small art installations.

It’s a part of his therapy.

"Mostly we don't talk about the war, because it can be painful for us. We don't want them to see that pain, and we also don't want to forget it. The less we talk, the better," says Eric who hails from Vanadzor.

He says that before joining the army, he never imagined that one day he would be working with moths.

The moths are delivered from hatcheries in Canada. They come dried and sealed.

One of the difficult aspects of the work is opening their wings.

"You have to have a lot of patience," Eric says, adding that the finished art makes it all worthwhile.

Eric is studying Armenian and mathematics to qualify for university. If accepted, he will study remotely so that he can work at the same time.

"In any case, life goes on. Whatever situation we are in, we must live that life. I decided to self-educate, to enter university. There are many questions related to the future that I must consider. I can’t focus on my present situation. Then, it might be too late,” says Eric.

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