News of this April’s mass detentions, arrests, and murders of Chechnya’s gay and bisexual population has spread around the globe. While Chechen and federal authorities categorically deny all reports of this persecution, the mass media is filled with stories of men who managed to flee Chechnya. These events have pushed the Chechen people to contemplate the unstable place of their nation in the world.
Every Easter, people in Shukhuti, a small village in Guria, western Georgia, clash in the centre of the village over a heavy, 16–17kg ball. This tradition, a kind of game of honor, is called Leloburti. Shukhuti is divided into two parts — Zemo (upper) and Kvemo (lower) Shukhuti — both of which field teams which clash every year. [Read more…]