Savoyan is one of the 95 domik (temporary shelters) districts in Gyumri, created after the 1988 earthquake. Over the past 25 years new districts have been built in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city, but 4,000 people still live with temporary and intolerable lives in the shadow of earthquake and don’t have permanent places of residency.
24-year-old Arev lives in the ‘flower shop’ where flowers were sold during Soviet times. Now the walls of this flower shop are from glass and cardboard, dogs and cats sleep in the same place with her two children to prevent rats from gnawing children’s ears or noses.
In the neighboring ‘Cafe’ Chichak’s family live. Before the earthquake, coffee and home-made pastry was served in the same Cafe; today it is a shelter to five people, two of them children.
Farther away is 70-year-old Geghetsik Yenokyan’s domik. After her son’s death, her daughter-in-law left home and she is the one looking after her three grandchildren.