On 17 May 2013, International Day Against Homophobia, a small group of around 50 queer rights activists were confronted in Tbilisi by thousands of counter-demonstrators led by Georgian Orthodox priests. Demonstrators carried posters with homophobic messages such as: ‘We don’t need Sodom and Gomorrah in Georgia’. The crowds, some carrying nettles to beat queer rights activists with, broke through police lines to attack the activists. Police were forced to evacuate the small number of activists from the city centre. Below is the story of Giorgi Kikonishvili, one of those present. [Read more…]
A D, 34 years old, Tskhinval
‘It was in November 1989. I was seven. I remember it was a gloomy day. The whole town was alert. I was little and could not understand anything. What I would hear was that some Georgians came shooting. And then everything started spinning: a blockade began, we would hear that they burnt a village and then another, kidnapped some people and shot some others. Barricades started popping in the town and cross-shootings followed.’
Rusudan Chelidze, 80, Zemo Bakhvi, Guria
‘You cannot really call what we went through back then childhood. There were only two of us. We had no one else out there in the whole world.’ [Read more…]
Stories written about Armenians from the diaspora who moved to Nagorno-Karabakh are, as a rule, positive: about successful businesses or achievements in agriculture. But among those who moved to Nagorno-Karabakh there are many who struggle to make ends meet; the Demirchyans, are such a family. They decided not to run away from problems, but to stay in Nagorno-Karabakh. [Read more…]
‘It happened two years ago, on 20 February 2016. I had just started a new job. I was also teaching school children English and maths, which is why I had to commute from Kavtaradze Street to Sololaki. Late in the evenings and at about midnight I would come back home to Dighomi. That day I decided to walk from the metro home, as I didn’t want to pay for a taxi. I just thought I could walk, as I wasn’t afraid. I was born and grew up here.’ [Read more…]
Women of Georgia — Nino Bluashvili, 21
‘Although my father was in the military, we never discussed this topic and I never had any other connection with it in the past. I rarely saw green uniforms at home, either. At first, I was enrolled at the Faculty of Humanities at Tbilisi State University, then I switched to journalism. I was in my first year when one of my friends began studying at the National Defence Academy. I really enjoyed the stories that my friend used to tell me about the academy.’
On 21 October, a special flight from Syria landed in Grozny with 21 children on board. The passengers included three women and six children from Daghestan. [Read more…]
N B, currently a resident of an IDP settlement in Karaleti, an internally displaced person as a result of the August 2008 war
‘The 1990s were the most difficult years; since November 1988 to be more exact. At that time, the bleakness had already started. We started hearing stuff from both sides. We already felt tension, and 9 April 1989 put an end to every hope we had, 9 April was a day you will never forget. We sacrificed for the independence of the country, but we still cannot feel that we are an independent country today. What have so many young lives been wasted for?’
Luiza Mutoshvili, 27, Pankisi Valley.
‘Five years ago, I started a job as a teacher at the public school in Duisi, Pankisi Valley, which completely changed my life. The goal of my teaching programme was to overcome the language barrier in regions with ethnic minorities. I’m ethnically Kist myself, and since Georgian is not my native language, I was well familiar with the language barrier problem.’ [Read more…]
After a dispute broke out between Christians and Muslims over the ruins of a building in the village of Mokhe, in southwest Georgia’s Adigeni Municipality, the government stepped in to resolve the situation by pledging to build a new mosque.