Women are detonating landmines in Armenia to support themselves and their community. These brave are now the subjects of a documentary called “Forgotten Fields.”
The job is normally dominated by men in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is east of the capital of Armenia and of one of the worst landmine areas in the world. Nearly 400 civilians have died because of the landmines that have been buried for more than 20 years, since the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“About two years ago, they started letting women become deminers,” explained the documentary’s director Emily Mkrtichian. “They spend days basically inch-by-inch, piece-by-piece, going over these minefields and finding explosives, digging them out of the ground, and exploding them so that they don’t harm any civilians.”
The documentary features two of the deminers who have left their husbands and now work to support their families. The filmmakers are trying to raise $25,000 on GoFundMe in order to finish their work.
“I think post-conflict zones around the world are places where women end up shouldering a lot of the responsibility of rebuilding a country, or working toward peace and stability,” said Mkrtichian. “And yet, they face the most violence, they face the most discrimination. So, as they shoulder this burden, they are the most vulnerable population.”