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Georgia/Armenia
Alex Böcker, Lea Müller & Rebecca Schell, Mia Pflieger, Dominik Kirsch

Thanks to Alex Böcker, Lea Müller & Rebecca Schell, Mia Pflieger, Dominik Kirsch for their contributions to the recently published Slanted Special Issue Georgia/Armenia.

In August 2023, a team, including Lars Harmsen, Markus Lange, and Rene Wawrzkiewicz, embarked on a journey from Tbilisi, Georgia, to Yerevan, Armenia. Along the way, they delved into the studios of numerous designers and artists, unearthing the rich tapestry of talent that defines these two distinct yet interconnected nations. In the heart of the Caucasus, both Tbilisi and Yerevan emerge as beacons of creativity, diversity, and intelligence. Despite sharing a common border, each city resonates with its unique character, offering a kaleidoscope of experiences.

Wojciech Górecki, an analyst at the Centre for Eastern Studies in Warsaw, provides a brilliant introduction to Georgia, highlighting its geographical position in Asia while underscoring its historical ties to Europe. From independent principalities to a united Georgian kingdom, Górecki paints a vivid picture of a nation shaped by a rich history, autonomy in the Orthodox Church, and the influential role of women, exemplified by the remarkable Queen Tamara.

The stories of Tbilisi and Yerevan intertwine with geopolitical significance, shaping the South Caucasus region. Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, stands as a geopolitical hub, its history marked by Russian influence and the 2008 war over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Georgia’s aspirations for EU and NATO membership, coupled with ongoing territorial disputes with Russia, define Tbilisi’s resilience and quest for independence, making it a pivotal player in regional politics.

Turning our attention to Armenia, Krzysztof Strachota, Head of the Turkey, Caucasus, and Central Asia Department at the Centre for Eastern Studies, sheds light on the complexities of a country often overlooked on the map. Armenia, nestled between Russia, Iran, and Turkey, faces the enduring reality of a never-declared war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, creating a tumultuous backdrop for its ongoing struggles and geopolitical dynamics.

Against the backdrop of Mount Ararat, Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, bears witness to the intricate dynamics of the South Caucasus. A testament to Armenia’s enduring struggle for independence and ongoing conflicts with Azerbaijan, Yerevan’s geopolitics are shaped by a Soviet past and the unresolved issues surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh.

PAUSE.

Sjon Schmidt
Dokumentation Lars Harmsen
Excursion Venice Oct. 2023

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