On the other side of the river

Artist Blog by Jana Islinger

In my second blog post, I would like to tell you about my encounters on the edge of the Abkhazian-Georgian border. Abkhazia, with a population of around 245,000, lies at the foot of the Caucasus on the northern coast of the Black Sea and is now under the protection of Russia. Under international law, Abkhazia is a region of Georgia, but it declared independence in the early 1990s. Between 1992 and 1993, a brutal war broke out that cost thousands of lives and forced around 250,000 people to flee. Those who stayed and still live there would usually rather belong to Russia than to Georgia. On the other hand, some of the Georgians who were displaced from their home region at that time have been living in once-temporary shelters for years. I had the opportunity to meet and portray some of them. They told me about their flight and their hope to return one day or to finally get a real home from the government.

1: Jamse, Marina and Uligu in their home, a deserted hotel in Tskaltubo, Georgia 2: Merabi's room in one of the abandoned hotels, Tskaltubo, Georgia 3: Merabi in his room, Tskaltubo, Georgia 4: Lea lives with her daughter in an abandoned hotel in Tskaltubo, Georgia

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