South Caucasus

South Caucasus

The countries of the South Caucasus are more diverse than almost any other region in the world. This applies to the natural geographical framework, history, culture, political action and economic potential and borders. The Caucasus, if you add the North Caucasus, is situated on the periphery as well as in the centre of world politics.

„Expose the objects, recover them, make them speak – that is the path of archaeology proposed here. (…) The world is viewed and readable through the history of things, through the analysis of signs and forms of transport, places and routines (…).

(Karl Schloegel, 2017: The Soviet century, 21)

To see Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan as a unit in the concept of the South Caucasus only serves the purpose of simplification, in reality the differences are enormous.

All the countries of the South Caucasus have military conflicts in common with tsarist Russia and the Soviet power that succeeded it. The far-reaching cultural transformations in the system of the Soviet Union continue to have an effect to this day. Since the 1990s, it has repeatedly been the oil and gas deposits in the Caspian Sea that have attracted public attention. In addition, there have been conflicts and wars in Chechnya (1994-1996 and 1992-2009), South Ossetia (1991-1992 and 2008), Abkhazia (1992-1993) and Nagorno-Karabakh (1992-1994); the latter overlaid by the Armenian genocide of 1915, which is a conflict of political memory.

The project #SpacesandPractises via @doinggeography explores in various spaces the question of how people shape space as a social reality. I am particularly interested in spaces in which there are conflicts of interpretation. These result from the fact that different groups compete for the sovereignty of interpretation over space. In doing so, the gaze is necessarily always turned simultaneously to the past, present and future.

The aim here is to follow the traces in space, to sift through them, and also to secure the legacies of past generations. The findings that are brought to light, captured in photographs and stories, are to be put together in a mosaic, which is commonly referred to as history.

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