Georgia – Journey Through the End of an Era

The old Caucasian nation of Georgia arose out of kingdoms both ancient and medieval. The Early Modern period saw it struggle to maintain autonomy against Ottoman and Persian domination, a status it at last gained as a constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, though only after being annexed in by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1921 (and before it by the Russian Empire in 1801).

The photographs were taken at the time the republic renamed itself the Republic of Georgia and declared its sovereignty over Soviet law, which it did on November 15, 1990 (on March 31, 1991 formally declaring its independence from the Soviet Union, which would itself be dissolved on December 26, 1991). I didn’t feel at ease. Waitresses threw the cutlery on the table and entering a restaurant at all seemed to be an insult towards the staff. Near Sukhumi, the driver, a Georgian from Tbilisi, had argued with drunken Abkhaz, and when we were about to break away, they tried to set light to the car. Two years later, a war broke out between Abkhaz separatists and Georgian government forces.