Diana Markosian: Santa Barbara


This book is not yet published, but will be available from November 2020.

ISBN: 9781597114721 Category:


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.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Publisher name Aperture Foundation
Publication date 19 November 2020
Number of pages 216
Format Hardback
Contributors Photographs by Diana Markosian, Text by Lynda Myles
Dimensions N/A
Weight 300 g

Diana Markosian (born in Moscow, 1989) holds an MS from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Her photographs have been published in National Geographic, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. Her most recent awards include a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2019) and a World Press Photo award (2019).

Lynda Myles is an Emmy Award-winning scriptwriter. She has worked on Santa Barbara, General Hospital, and One Life to Live, among other TV shows.