Saturday, October 31, 2009

REPORT: European Council On Foreign Relations to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Southcaucasus (

On this Website you can read now 82 results for search: “georgia armenia azerbaijan southcaucasus politics”

here >>>



By Molly Corso

Secret prison cells from the Stalin era have been discovered on a Tbilisi construction site for a $90-million luxury hotel for the international Kempinski Hotel chain. The cells, located in the city’s former Institute of Marxism and Leninism, are believed to be the first of their kind to be found in Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Construction workers stumbled upon the cells in September when they were demolishing the Institute’s basement for construction of the Kempinski Hotel on the site, said site security manager Davit Kvikvelidze.
Made up of several cage-like structures inserted into the walls of an underground area located beneath the basement, the cells were not visible on the building’s blueprints and did not come to light during an earlier inspection of the building, said a representative of the hotel developers, the United Arab Emirates-based Abu Dhabi Group. Workers also came upon another unsavory discovery -- cemetery gravestones used to build the Institute’s interior walls and columns. The gravestones are believed to come from three Tbilisi cemeteries destroyed during the 1920s and 1930s.
Giorgi Seturidze, the chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi Group in Georgia, called the discovery "a shock." The Geneva-based Kempinski Hotel chain, which will manage the 240-room facility when it is completed in 2012, would not comment on the discovery.

full text and all photos >>>

ARTICLE: 'World's oldest gold mine' uncovered in Georgia (

The news feeds on this site are independently provided by Adfero Limited © and do not represent the views or opinions of the World Gold Council.

Friday, 30th October 2009 (95 views)
Experts have claimed to have found the oldest gold mine in the world.

Located 46 metres below ground level, the mine was first found by archaeologists near the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in 2005, China Central Television reports.

Recent tests have suggested that it could date back to the third millennium BC.

The discoverers of the mine found grooved tools indicating that the mine once held gold, although questions remain over what happened to the precious metal at the site.

Head of the excavation works Irina Gambashidze said tests had been carried out on two pieces of ceramics that were found at the mine, which dated them to the Kura-Araxis period.

"Afterwards, we did radio carbon dating of the charcoal collected here, which corresponded to the age of ceramics and thus we could say these findings represented the early Bronze Age," she explained.

Ancient civilisations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Persians placed great importance on gold, with evidence suggesting that the Egyptians in particular were familiar with the precious metal as far back as 2600 BC.


VIDEO: Theater Tbilisi Globe Project (

PUBLICATION: Tagliavini Commission Report Awakens an Extinct Protest Volcano in Georgia (

By: Koba Liklikadze

The name of the Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini may soon be used as a flagship for a new protest movement in Georgia. The implacable Georgian opposition, who previously ran three-month long protest rallies which commenced in April, have reiterated their calls for pre-term elections in the country (, October 2). Nino Burjanadze, the former parliamentary speaker and leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia party asserted that President Mikheil Saakashvili should be held responsible for his policies and has attempted to rally opposition parties to consider how “to set Georgia free of Saakashvili’s regime, so that the people can elect a truly national, accountable and state-minded leadership” (Interpress News, October 2).

full article >>>

PHOTO: Warphoto from 1992-93 (


BLOG: Farewell to Tbilisi (

Most of the international visitors left Tbilisi after the performance of Doiashvili's Macbeth (or Sturua’s Hamlet) on Monday night. I was in a bar with the cast of Macbeth and other friends, including the Minister of Culture, until 5.00am so my last morning in Tbilisi was spent in bed!

more >>>

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CONCERT-TOUR: Russudan Meipariani in Georgia (

Russudan Meipariani Ensemble and Tindra Trio on Tour in Georgia.

Modern Music and Norwegian Folk Music.
November 4th 19.00

National Music Center Tbilisi
D. Agmashenebeli av. 127

Novemer 4 - 10, Tbilisi - Telavi - Kutaisi - Batumi

poster of tour

more >>>

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ART: The Artist Amiran Djanashvili (

Amiran Djanashvili entered the Special Art School in Tbilisi at the age of seven. After finishing the school he entered the sculpture faculty of the State Art Academy, which he graduated in 1987. Since 1991 Amiran lives with his family in the Netherlands and exhibits his works in many countries. Amiran's sculptures were sold in Japan, Israel, USA, Belgium, Germany, the former Soviet Union and of course the Netherlands.

Amiran considers composition and form as the most important, his sculptures are compact and can be carved from stone, wood or casted in brons. He is very keen on details, as every detail must contribute to the total composition. Amiran is using constructive forms to create a composition and 3D element is very important - "the sculpture must not have an obvious "facade" but should be interesting from all sides. All the forms must be plastically interesting and should be in perfect harmony with each

more here >>>

ART: The Artist David Gabriël Djindjikhachvili (

David Gabriël Djindjikhachvili is born in Georgia in the year 1975. He grows up and completes grammar school in Tbilisi during the intense period of political and socia changes. Being raised in an artistic family he develops from the youngest age the sculpting, drawing, and painting skills.

In 1995 he starts the studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where his artistic work acquires a new direction. During this time he develops a strong interest in filmmaking, graduating in 1999 from the Audiovisual Department. In the postgraduate Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam he deepens the conceptual and practical understanding of the moving image still further graduating in 2001.

In his artistic practice up to date he is not daunted by the scale or nature of the projects, and is thus always finding ways of unique artistic expression by taking charge of the projects and imposing his own ideas and standards on the film and photography. He lives and works in Amsterdam.

more here >>>

Artist brings together reality and aesthetics (Georgia Today) by Anna Chichinadze

CULTURE: Pankisi Folk Evening (

Pankisi Folk Evening, ursprünglich hochgeladen von

October 31
14 Grishashvili street, Tbilisi
6:00 pm
Admision Free


The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus
by Bruce Grant
200pp. $21.95 (paperback)
Publisher: Cornell University Press (June, 2009)

In his autobiography The Two Lives of My Generation (OLMA Media Group 2006), Russian broadcaster and best-selling author Yuri Kostin quotes a classical poem about Georgia:

"On Georgia godly gifts were showered,
In garden shade they bloomed and flowered,
And have since then, and without fear,
Behind a friendly fringe of spear."

[from "Mtsyri" by Michael Lermontov (1814-1841); my translation]

Kostin, born in 1965, the same year as Russia’s president, Dmitriy Medvedyev, belongs to a pivotal generation now coming into power: it is perhaps the last generation that can clearly recall Soviet times. It is also a generation suckled on the writings of Pushkin, Lermontov, and Tolstoy. Kostin’s implication is that literary notions of "godly gifts" and "friendly spear" in the Caucasus cannot be dismissed as quaint: indeed, in Russia, they have gained traction.

This, too, is the thesis of Bruce Grant’s intriguing The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus (Cornell 2009)--an exploration of stories and poems (some of them thousands of years old), films, and the recurrent themes in them of capture, hostage-taking, and gift-giving. Grant argues that Russia has couched its empire-building in terms of bringing to others the gifts of civilization, education, language, and even soul--along with a friendly fringe of spear.

Grant contends that Russians have been profoundly influenced by tales of the Caucasus--as have Caucasians themselves, who read the classics as part of the same Soviet curriculum and often came to consider them as historically correct masterpieces. Grant, who is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University, encapsulates the problem neatly: Russian writers who sallied into the Caucasus "entered a physical place, found a mythic place, and generated a narrative place."

Unfortunately, Grant also sprinkles his text with undefined terms (’acts of emplacement,’ ’logics of sovereignty,’ ’biopolitics,’ ’idioms of closure,’ ’sleights of power’) that take considerable getting used to. There are also some academic head-scratchers like: "In examples such as these [i.e. a legend about bride kidnapping] we find the logics of Bataille most prominent: beyond pure utility, persons may be stolen foremost to perform sovereignty in an act of power as spectacle."

But all in all, this book will greatly reward the reader. Just as the United States "settled" the Wild West, Russians contended with the Caucasus--and indeed still do. Grant’s labor in The Captive and the Gift is to present us with the interplay between myth, story, and action: between Russian ideas about the Caucasus and their actual relations with it.

full article >>>

AmazonShop: Books, Maps, Videos, Music & Gifts About The Caucasus

ART: Young Artists' Residence & Promotion Center in Baku (


YAR – Young Artists' Residence & Promotion Center
AD – Music Performance & Recording Studio
AN – Art Gallery & Workshop

41, Nizami str, AZ1001, Baku, Azerbaijan

+994 12 492 38 37
+994 55 210 82 69

INTERVIEW: Otar Iosseliani (

Otar Ioseliani, interview from VGIK on Vimeo.

KONZERT: Young Euro Classic Ensemble Südosteuropa

Vorschau auf das Festival 2010
Das Konzert "Spiegelklänge" des Young Euro Classic Ensembles Südosteuropa macht deutlich: eine Zusammenarbeit mit Blick in die Zukunft braucht viel Engagement und - Zeit. Bereits im Oktober 2009 findet sich daher das Ensemble mit jungen Musikern aus dem ehemaligen Jugoslawien und Deutschland zusammen. Auf dem Programm noch in diesem Jahr: eine gemeinsame Probenphase in Berlin, ein erstes Konzert zum Auftakt in der St. Matthäus-Kirche (28. Oktober, 20 Uhr). Anschließend geht das Young Euro Classic Ensemble Südosteuropa bis zum 3. November auf Tournee nach Serbien, Mazedonien und in den Kosovo.
Und das soll erst der Anfang sein: bei Young Euro Classic 2010 wird das Ensemble erneut zu Gast sein. Künstlerischer Anspruch, junge Spielfreude und Anstoß für ein dauerhaftes gesellschaftliches Miteinander, dafür steht das Projekt Young Euro Classic Spiegelklänge.
Die musikalische Leitung des Ensembles übernimmt die georgische Ausnahmegeigerin und Dirigentin Liana Isakadze (*1946). Das "Wunderkind aus Georgien" wurde von David Oistrach entdeckt, war dessen Meisterschülerin und später Assistentin am Moskauer Staatskonservatorium. Sie leitete u.a. das Georgische Staatskammerorchester, das sie für einige Jahre nach Deutschland holte. Die Probenphase des Young Euro Classic Ensembles Südosteuropa findet noch bis zum 28. Oktober in Berlin statt.
Das Projekt Young Euro Classic Spiegelklänge wird vom Auswärtigen Amt gefördert.

Young Euro Classic Ensemble Südosteuropa
Konzert "Spiegelklänge" am 28. Oktober 2009, St. Matthäus-Kirche am Kulturforum mit Studierenden von Musikhochschulen aus Slowenien, Kroatien, Serbien, Kosovo, Bosnien, Montenegro, Mazedonien und Deutschland

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) Sonate für Streichorchester Nr. 3 C-Dur
Dmitri Schostakowitsch (1906-1975) Kammersymphonie op. 110a für Streichorchester
Josip Stolcer-Slavenski (1896-1955) Tänze aus dem Balkan
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847) Violinkonzert d-Moll (1822)
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) Concerto g-moll "L'Estate" op. 8 Nr. 2, RV 315
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Divertimento D-Dur KV 136

Tickets: 9 Euro auf allen Plätzen

Vorverkauf: St. Matthäus Kirche am Kulturforum (Di.-So.) 12-18 Uhr, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin

Vorbestellung unter: unter Angabe der Kartenanzahl und des Namens.

Monday, October 26, 2009

MAGAZIN: Lights, camera, propaganda! By Shaun Walker (

A president, dressed in a sharp suit and red tie, addresses crowds of cheering flag-waving Georgians from outside the parliament building in Tbilisi.

“Today the forces of occupation are gathered at our gates,” he shouts, wildly gesticulating and with a voice cracked with emotion. “They have guns, they have bombs. But we have something more precious than that. We have our love for freedom and our love for Georgia!”

The crowd erupts in cheers of approval. But this time it’s not Mikheil Saakashvili making the same speech that he made over a year ago on this very spot.

It’s the Hollywood actor Andy Garcia, in town to shoot a film due out next spring that will cover the events of last August’s war, and will also star Val Kilmer. It is directed by Renny Harlin, famous for blockbusters such as Cliffhanger and Die Hard 2, and is likely to become another gambit in the battle for world opinion over what exactly happened in August 2008. Sceptics point to the fact that one of the film’s co-producers and scriptwriters is an MP for Saakashvili’s ruling party.

full article >>>

DOCUMENTARY: Nowhere in Europe. By Kerstin Nickig (

International Competition Doc - DOK Festival 2009 (Leipzig)

DOK Leipzig, the largest German and second largest European documentary film festival will start its 52nd issue with an exciting programme and attractive offers in its individual sections. True to its tradition as the „Window to the World“ the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film again presents the best and latest animated and documentary films from more than 50 countries to its audience between October 26 and November 1, 2009.

Thursday 29.10, Wintergarten, 20.15
Friday 30.10, CineStar 6, 11.00

Director Kerstin Nickig
Production Michael Truckenbrodt, time prints OHG
Cut Karoline Schulz
Camera Piotr Rosolowski, André Frenzel, Jakub Bejnarowicz
Language tschetschenisch, russisch german as sub-title
89 min., Deutschland, Polen, 2009, Color

A film about the effects of European refugee policies on four refugees from the Chechnian conflict and their families. “As Salam Aleikum, Europe” – that is how the journalist Ali (39), who is waiting for the verdict on his asylum case in Poland, begins his diary. In his smoky room in the refugees’ home, he has more than enough time to note down his observations and thoughts about Europe and his own identity crisis in exile. Wacha (50) was granted asylum as a political activist in Austria, but his son is being persecuted in Russia. He tries everything to bring him to Europe. Tamara (55) lives in Vienna with her husband and daughter. Her handicapped daughter urgently needs medical treatment, but the family are living under the threat of deportation. Ruslan (33) is stuck in the Ukraine. He has no residence permit and no money. He hopes to be able to take his family to Western Europe soon. All protagonists have fled from Chechnia because their lives were in danger. They now face new problems as asylum seekers in Europe: man against the state apparatus. How do I prove that I am I? That what happened to me really happened to me? And: does anybody care at all?

DOCUMENTARY: Altzaney - Nino Orjonikidze, Vano Arsenishvili, Georgien, 2009, 31 min. (

International Competition Doc - DOK Festival 2009 (Leipzig)

DOK Leipzig, the largest German and second largest European documentary film festival will start its 52nd issue with an exciting programme and attractive offers in its individual sections. True to its tradition as the „Window to the World“ the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film again presents the best and latest animated and documentary films from more than 50 countries to its audience between October 26 and November 1, 2009.

Wednesday 28.10, CineStar 8, 11.00

Friday 30.10, CineStar 8, 20.00


Director Nino Orjonikidze
Co-Director Vano Arsenishvili
Production Nino Orjonikidze, Artefact Production
Cut Nino Orjonikidze, Vano Arsenishvili
Camera Nino Orjonikidze, Vano Arsenishvili
Language tschetschenisch, georgisch english as sub-title
31 min., Georgien, 2009, Color

Judging from the number of wrinkles, Altzaney is very old. Her narrow eyes shine with wisdom and goodness. Even while laboriously working on all kinds of chores, deeply bent or on her knees, she radiates a great inner dignity. She is an authority in the small Georgian village. People always call her if there is anything to sort out or any dispute to be settled. She often intercedes in marriage affairs, which the families delicately negotiate according to the old traditions. At first, everyone pretends that it is all about the welfare of the bride and whether the farms will be well matched, but in the end it is only the price that decides the outcome. In the Georgian directors' film, the camera often dwells on Altzaney’s face as she focuses on trying to find the right diplomatic approach to some negotiation, for hers is not a simple role. To all intents and purposes, the ancient patriarchal structures and a deep religious feeling reign supreme here. The director manages to capture a few passing comments which show that Altzaney herself knows best that she is not a saint. She is just needed. This makes for a touching portrait, but also an ethnographic look at the workings of a village community which follows rules that are not from our age. CK

In a foggy Pankisi Gorge, where traditions prevail over the law, people have favored authority. This is the 87 years old woman - Altzaney, who deals with lives and deaths of the local people. She is the one, who is authorized to interfere and resolve daily problems of the community, but also she is the only woman who is trusted to take care of the dead. People of the gorge believe that Altzanei is the one who can mediate between conflicting sides and between the two worlds as well. No man can challenge the authority of the woman chosen to guide them through lives and deaths.

ELECTROMUSIC: Electronics & Wires pres. Tusja Beridze aka Tba in Berlin, 12.11.2009 (

Stolz presentiert MEDIA LOCA (medialoca909) ein paar derjenigen Talente, die bereits Spuren hinterließen auf ihrem Weg durch die Spielstätten dieser Welt: a.a Tusia Beridze aka TBA aus Georgien. Tusia Beridze wird ihre Musik zwische Dancefloor und Konzerthalle im Club "Maria am Ostbahnhof" in Berlin am 12.11.2009 vorführen. Das ist meinerseits nicht nur ein Empfehlung für die Georgier in Berlin. Alle sollten hingehen.

mehr hier: Maria am Ostbahnhof
Der Club
Maria informiert über sein Programm in Friedrichshain.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

PHOTOREPORTAGE: Georgia in motion from Magnum Photographers (

(1) Georgian Spring by Gueorgui Pinkhassov
The Argonauts came here in their quest for the Golden Fleece.
It was here that Prometheus was chained to the rocks.
Gods lived here.
Georgian Spring website
Gueorgui Pinkhassov's portfolio

(2) Georgian Spring by Alex Majoli
This work is about the same story of war, same historical phantoms, same questions.
Georgian Spring website
Alex Majoli's portfolio

(3) Georgian Spring by Antoine D'Agata
"And may he return without the help of any man or god"
-Odyssey, Book V, 31-32

(4) Georgian Spring by Alec Soth
"So for my visit, I decided to go looking for the most beautiful woman I could find. Over the course of several weeks, I traveled the entire country.
In a small Northern village I found N., the most beautiful woman in Georgia."
-Alec Soth

(5) Georgian Spring by Thomas Dworzak
"The President was very relaxed with me, and went the extra lenght to take me places where other presidents would not take their photographers: into closed meetings, to lunches and dinners, behind the scenes at the UN..."
-Thomas Dworzak

VERANSTALTUNG: Dr. Tengis Khachapuridse und Bettina Buske in der Gedenkbibliothek zu Ehren der Opfer des Stalinismus e.V.

Gedenkbibliothek zu Ehren der Opfer des Stalinismus e.V.
Nikolaikirchplatz 5-7
10178 Berlin ( Nikolaiviertel)
Tel.: 2834327 Fax: 28097193


EINLADUNG - Dienstag, 27. Oktober 2009, 19 Uhr

Dr. Tengis Khachapuridse, Schriftsteller aus Georgien, schildert seine Erlebnisse vor und nach
dem Fall der Mauer unter dem Titel: „Zwei Steine“.

Bettina Buske, (Ost-)Berliner Autorin, berichtet in ihrer Erzählung „Ist ja wirklich so!“ mit leichtem Augenzwinkern über erste Erkundungen und Erlebnisse in West-Berlin und die Schwierigkeiten der Annäherung.

Diese Zeugnisse sind erschienen im Buch Mauerstücke – Erinnerungsgeschichten, herausgegeben von Bettina Buske und Patricia Koelle. Es sind zwei von siebenundzwanzig Geschichten zur Erinnerung an die Berliner Mauer und die deutschdeutsche Grenze, die das Land von 1961 bis 1989 in zwei
feindliche Lager teilten und bis heute, 20 Jahre danach, tiefe Wunden hinterlassen haben. Autoren aus Ost und West haben ihre Erlebnisse und Erfahrungen festgehalten. Darunter sind einerseits
Zeitzeugen, die sich noch an den Bau der Mauer im Jahre 1961 erinnern können und andererseits auch solche, die noch Kind waren, als im Jahre 1989 die Mauer fiel.

SALON: "Der Kaukasus -- eine Region zwischen Mythos und Realpolitik" (

Das Center for Area Studies lädt Sie herzlich zu seinem achten "Salon transregionale Studien" ein.

Der Salon steht diesmal unter dem Thema:
"Der Kaukasus -- eine Region zwischen Mythos und Realpolitik"

Die Veranstaltung findet statt am
Montag, 2. November 2009, von 18.00 (s.t.!) -- 20.00 Uhr
im John-F.-Kennedy-Institut, Hörsaal 340, Lansstr. 7-9, 14105 Berlin -
Dahlem (U3, X11, X83 "Dahlem-Dorf"; Lageplan >>>)

Im Anschluss laden wir Sie zu einem kleinen Umtrunk ein.

Näheres zum Inhalt können Sie dieser Website entnehmen.

Eine Anmeldung ist diesmal nicht erforderlich.

Bitte leiten Sie diese Einladung über an Ihre Institutsverteiler und Studierenden weiter und hängen Sie das Poster im Anhang in Ihren Instituten aus.

Wir würden uns freuen, Sie zu diesem Salon begrüßen zu dürfen.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Anja vom Stein


Anja vom Stein, M.A.
Freie Universität Berlin
Center for Area Studies
Lansstr. 7-9 - Raum 315 -
14195 Berlin
Telefon: +49 (0)30 838-52881
Sekretariat: +49 (0)30 838-52474
Fax: +49 (0)30 838-52873
Aktuelles aus dem CAS unter:

NEWS: RFE/RL Caucasus Report 23 Oct 09 (

10/23/2009 4:11:18 PM A review of RFE/RL reporting and analysis about the countries of the South Caucasus and Russia's North Caucasus region. For more stories on the Caucasus, please visit and bookmark our Caucasus page .

Top U.S. Official Meets With Azerbaijani Officials, NGOs Visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Tina Kaidanow met with Azerbaijani officials and representatives of nongovernmental organizations in Baku, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. More

Videos Mocking Georgian Patriarch Stir Controversy Several video clips mocking the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, have triggered a wave of condemnation in Georgia, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports. More

Muscovites Commemorate Dubrovka Hostage Victims Muscovites are commemorating victims of the 2002 "Nord-Ost" hostage crisis and storming by Russian security forces of the Dubrovka Theater, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports. More

Armenia, Turkey Differ Over Karabakh's Impact On Relations Talking to RFE/RL about the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement protocols signed in Zurich on October 10, an Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Armenia and Turkey began the rapprochement process with a mutual understanding that progress in bilateral relations should proceed without preconditions. More

Who Has An Interest In Discrediting Georgia's Patriarch? Video footage posted last week on Georgian websites and on YouTube showing Georgian Patriarch Ilia II with a voiceover of insulting comments about Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has triggered a storm of criticism from the Georgian authorities, opposition parties, and the Georgian Orthodox Church. More

Georgian Parliament Approves New Probe Into First President's Death The Georgian parliament approved on October 20 a proposal by opposition deputy Djondi Baghaturia to form a commission that will conduct a repeat investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Zviad Gamsakhurdia in 1993. The commission will also deliver a formal "legal and political assessment" of the events that preceded Gamsakhurdia's violent ouster in early January 1992. More

Armenia Separates Turkish Rapprochement From Karabakh Dispute Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Arman Kirakosian says Turkish-Armenian rapprochement protocols have nothing to do with the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. More

Havel Expects Biden To Reassure Region As U.S. Vice President Joe Biden begins his travels through Central Europe, arguably the region's loudest voice for strong trans-Atlantic ties, former Czech President Vaclav Havel, is up-front with RFE/RL about what he expects to hear: a clear vision of American policy for the region. More

Armenia Thanks U.S. For Help In Normalizing Turkey Relations Armenia's President Serzh Sarkisian has told visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Tina Kaidanow expressed gratitude on behalf of the Armenian nation to the U.S. leadership for its contribution to the normalization of relations with Turkey, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More

Ingushetian Parliament Endorses Russian As Prime Minister Ingushetia's parliament voted on October 20 with only two abstentions to approve republican Security Council Secretary Aleksei Vorobyov as prime minister. More

Karachayevo-Cherkessia President Suffers Two Tactical Defeats On October 14, Karachayevo-Cherkessia Republic (KChR) President Boris Ebzeyev suffered his second tactical defeat within the space of a week when the republic's parliament rejected for the fourth time his proposed candidate to represent the republic in the Federation Council. More

Azerbaijan Could Scuttle Nabucco Over Turkey-Armenia Deal Will the Nabucco pipeline become a casualty of the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement? Azerbaijan's president says that Turkey pays too little for its gas and that Baku would seek alternative routes. If he's not just bluffing, analysts say it could be the death knell for the Western-backed project and provide a big boost to Russia's South Stream. More

Daghestan's Moscow Representative Denies Advocating Death Squads Gadji Makhachev, who is Daghestan's formal representative in Moscow, issued a statement on October 18 distancing himself from comments he was quoted as having made at a roundtable discussion in Moscow two days earlier of the repeated incursions into Daghestan by Chechen militants in the summer of 1999. More

Saakashvili Is Ready For His Close-Up In March, Russian television aired “Olympius Inferno,” a made-for-TV thriller based on the first days of the Russian-Georgian war of August 2008. That is, based on the Kremlin’s version of the start of the war. Now Hollywood is taking a crack at the subject, RFE/RL's Russian and Georgian services report. More

Turkish-Armenian Deal Leaves Unanswered Questions Last weekend's agreement between Turkey and Armenia to establish diplomatic relations has been hailed around the world as an important breakthrough. But the accord is only the first step on a long road toward full reconciliation, which still faces major obstacles. More

Will Serzh Sarkisian's Biggest Gamble Pay Off? A little less than three years ago, Serzh Sarkisian, then Armenian defense minister, nailed his foreign-policy colors to the mast by publishing a commentary calling for Turkey and Armenia to establish diplomatic and good-neighborly relations with no preconditions on either side. Now, thanks in large part to Sarkisian's personal commitment and with the support of the United States, the two countries are tantalizingly close to attaining that goal. More

Georgia Rejects Russian Accusations Of Collaboration With Al-Qaeda In North Caucasus The Georgian Foreign Ministry and parliament speaker David Bakradze issued separate statements on October 14 rejecting as "absurd" Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) head Aleksandr Bortnikov's allegation the previous day that the Georgian intelligence service is collaborating with Al-Qaeda in arranging the transit of mercenaries and weapons via Georgia to the North Caucasus resistance in both Chechnya and Daghestan. More

Turkey And Armenia Meet On The Field Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul met to watch a World Cup game together just days after their nations reached a landmark accord reestablishing diplomatic ties. The meeting marked the next stage in the two countries’ ongoing football diplomacy. More

Election Body Overrules Court In Daghestan Election Dispute On October 13, the city court in Derbent, southern Daghestan, heard complaints from Imam Yaraliyev and two other opposition candidates who demanded that the outcome of the mayoral election be annulled due to blatant interference and pressure by the authorities in support of incumbent Feliks Kaziakhmedov. The court called for suspending the vote count. But later that day the local election commission officially approved the results, giving Kaziakhmedov 67.5 percent of the vote. More

Video: Nagorno-Karabakh -- Dreams Of Youth For an entire generation of young Armenians, Nagorno-Karabakh is the only home they've ever known. The region split from Azerbaijan in a brutal conflict following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Born in war and raised in an uneasy peace, this generation is reaching adulthood and could see their world change yet again. Momentum is building for a final settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan that could mean an end to Nagorno-Karabakh's isolation. It could also mean the return large numbers of Azerbaijanis displaced by the war. RFE/RL's Brian Whitmore traveled to the enclave and spoke to young people about their views on the conflict and their hopes for the future. More

Four Years After Nalchik, How Strong Is Insurgency In Kabardino-Balkaria? Four years ago, a group of desperate and badly prepared young Muslims in Kabardino-Balkaria launched simultaneous attacks on police and security facilities in Nalchik, the republican capital. The operation was a disaster: 95 young men were killed, of whom only 37 were actual fighters, according to "The Guardian" one week later quoted a witness to the fighting who recalled hearing one of the young attackers holed up in the security-service building yell to a comrade-in-arms, "How do you reload a grenade launcher?" More

What Does Turkey-Armenia Deal Mean For Karabakh? As Armenia and Turkey reestablish diplomatic relations, there is renewed momentum for a settlement in the breakaway republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. That prospect has led to both hope and anxiety about what will happen if the delicate status quo that has existed for the past 15 years is changed. More

Both Sides Hijacked Georgia War Report The European Union has released its report on last year's August war in the Caucasus. The aim was to establish what happened, however the "facts" have been appropriated by both sides and misconstrued by the press. More

Independent Georgian TV Channel Under Pressure Mamuka Ghlonti, owner of the independent Georgian TV channel Maestro TV, told journalists in Tbilisi on October 7 that the Georgian authorities are exerting pressure on the country's major cable-television companies not to cooperate with him. Ten days earlier, Ghlonti had addressed an open letter to President Mikheil Saakashvili challenging his September 24 assertion to the UN General Assembly that "we have given opposition-controlled stations license to transmit across the nation." More

Experts Pan Georgian President's Economic Freedom Act On October 6, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili presented to parliament a draft Economic Freedom Act that, he explained, will impose constitutional constraints on the present and future governments' leeway to restrict economic freedom. While the parliament majority from Saakashvili's own United National Movement greeted that draft with acclaim, the opposition National Democratic Party questioned whether it can in fact be implemented, and economic expert Lado Papava dismissed it as "a combination of populism and traditional errors." More

Friday, October 23, 2009


Nachrichtenblatt der Studiengruppe für gegenwartsbezogene Kaukasien-Forschung

Abonnement der Neuen Kaukasischen Post
Adressen und Interessengebietsverzeichnis
Aufruf zur Mitarbeit
Nachrichten aus der Studiengruppe
Laufende Forschungsprojekte
Selbstdarstellung von Institutionen und Organisationen
Wissenschaftliche Kooperationen
Tagungs- und Veranstaltungskalender
Präsidentschaftswahlen in Armenien
Die Verfassung der Republik Armenien
Deutsch-Kaukasische Beziehungen
Neue Zeitschriften, Newsgroups und Mailing Lists
Adressenliste der Studiengruppe

Redaktion: Raoul Motika & Miriam Kubina (unter Mitarbeit v. B. Lauer)

Universität HeidelbergIslamwissenschaft (Osmanistik)

Sandgasse 7, 69117 Heidelberg
Tel.: 06221/542969
Fax: 06221/542963

GEDICHTE: Von den Steinen Armeniens: Gedichte

von Raffi Kantian (Vorwort, Übersetzer), Zareh Krakuni (Autor), Stefan Cümbüsyan (Illustrator)

Taschenbuch: 96 Seiten
Verlag: Edition Orient (1990)
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 3922825435
ISBN-13: 978-3922825432

AmazonShop: Books, Maps, Videos, Music & Gifts About The Caucasus

DOSSIER: The Armenians - Their History from the 8. c. BC until the 14. c. AD. By Raffi Kantian (

This brief account about the history of the Armenians starts with a tentative comparison of the different approaches - older and newer ones - concerning the origin of the Armenians. The period of Kingdom of Urartu is outlined while keeping an eye on the Armenians, both as part of the royal family and beyond it. The emergence of Armenia as a separate political entity after the fall of Urartu is described within the context of the rivalry of the dominant powers. The same approach is used for the later periods. Special emphasis is laid on the changes in the power structure after the event of Christianity and the invasion of the country by the Arabs. The paper ends with an outline of continuing traditions which have prevailed the times.

more >>>

HEUTE: Vortrag: Armenien, Reise durch die Zeit (1989-2009)

Wer: Armenischer Studentenkreis der Uni Leipzig
+ KULTUR & INITIATIVE Leipziger Osten e.V.
Was: Vortrag: Armenien, Reise durch die Zeit (1989-2009)
Wann: 23.10.09 19.30 Uhr
Wo: Lukaskirche, 04315 Leipzig, Ernst-Thälmann-Platz

- Dr. Raffi Kantian, Publizist Hannover (Deutsch-Armenische Gesellschaft)
- Zhirayr Avetisyan, Uni Leipzig
- Thomas Rudolph, ehemaliger Sprecher der Initiative "Frieden & Menschenrechte"

- Khachatur Yengoyan (Viola)
- Arsen Stepanyan (Geige)
von der Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelson Bartholdy

Im Rahmen der Kulturwochen "OSTLichter" wird in der Veranstaltung ein Überblick zur politischen und kulturellen Entwicklung Armeniens im Zeitraum von 1989 bis 2009 gegeben. Ziel ist es, den Transformationsprozess von einer sowjetischen Republik bis zu einem unabhängigen Staat aufzuzeigen. Über die Parallelen zu den Veränderungsprozessen in Ost-Deutschland wird in der anschließenden Diskussion gesprochen. Zwischen den Vorträgen spielen Khachatur Yengoyan und Arsen Stepanyan klassische armenische Musik.
Die Veranstaltung wird finanziell unterstützt durch das Kulturamt der Stadt Leipzig.

Das Programm des Festivals "OstLichter" zum Herunterladen (40 kB)

Andreas Bernatschek

Spohrstrasse 5D - 04103 Leipzig
Telefon: 0341-5193314
Fax: 0341-5193316
Mobile: 0174 - 8744440
Skype: johnlennon1

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ART: ENAMEL ART by Guga Sutidze (

Born in 1981 in Tbilisi, Georgia.
In 2004 graduated from the faculty of Architecture Restavration of the State Academy of Arts in Tbilisi.
In 2002 studied the art of cloisonne enamel in the workshop of the "Sharden" Gallery in Tbilisi.
Participated in the international biennales and exhibitions: Tbilisi (Georgia), Paris, Morez, Viena (France), Vienna (Austria), Vilnius (Lithuania), London (the Great Britain).

History of Georgian Enamel
The raising and development of one of the oldest and popular branches of art - the cloisonne enamel dates back to the middle ages in Georgia. For a long period of time, it had served to the demands of the church. The secrets of the cloisonne enamel technology were lost in the 15th century. Only in the 40s of the past century it was exercised again by few artists.
By the end of the 20th century, secular art appears next to the traditional and Christian one. It defined new values and gave birth to the new wave of creativity.
The cloisonne enamel has become the most popular since the 90s of the 20th century. It was shown at the group and personal exhibitions; special workshops were created. Since 2000 the enamel artists have been participating in international exhibitions and art-contests. Their Works have been numerously awarded with honor (Barcelona, Tokio, Baltimore, Morez).
Two international bienales - “the New Wave” - that were conducted by the “Sharden” gallery in Tbilisi in 2004 and 2006, represented a significant phase in the development and the integration of the cloisonne enamel into the world culturula sphere. Many enamel artists from different parts of the world participated in biennales.

Contact Information
Cell: +995 99 489 184

ARTICLE: Redeveloping Old Tbilisi. By Michael Cecire (

Being someone who works in the field of economic development, I found it very interesting to learn that plans are moving forward to demolish sections of Old Tbilisi to allow for the brand new construction of modern high-rises (reportedly). From the way it sounds, it won’t be the kind of developments like that on Erekle Street, which does a very good job of mimicking a ‘European’ old quarter.
That area is quite charming and interesting, although one kind of gets the sense that the development tries a little too hard to replicate a Western European quartier rather than showcase more indigenous forms of architecture and planning, like that on display in Georgia’s tourist town of Sighnaghi.
Sighnaghi (shown below), which is located in the heights of the Kakheti wine region, was refurbished as an idealized representation of a ‘classical’ Georgian mountain town. This would be a much more appropriate model, if you ask me, for revitalizing Old Tbilisi, as opposed to more pseudo-Western Europe developments. Not to say that Erekle Street is a bad place – I actually enjoy it a great deal – but I think tourists would prefer to see more ‘Georgianness’ in the character of Old Tbilisi developments. But it doesn’t seem that the makeover will have any kind of ‘old’ look at all, from what is being implied.

full article >>>

GEOPOLICY: Russia and Azerbaijan establish new regional order in Caucasus-Caspian region: head of center for strategic studies

Currently, Russia and Azerbaijan play important role in formation of new regional order in Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, head of the Center for Strategic Studies under the Azerbaijani President, Elhan Nuriyev, said.

full article >>>

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

PHOTOGRAPHY: Mountain Biking in the Republic of Georgia (

ADVENTURE: Off-Road In The Caucasus Mountains Of Georgia. By Tom Allen (

Tom Allen is travelling the world by bicycle, and you can read his story on his blog and watch some videos of the journey on the podcast site.

A shorter excursion than normal, this time into the Greater Caucasus mountains of northern Georgia in autumn, just before the onset of winter in the higher valleys.For more information about mountain-biking in Georgia and the Caucasus visit and

Slideshow: Autumn 2009: Mountain-biking The Caucasus >>>

Last week I travelled to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi to meet Andy for a few days of mountain-biking in the Caucasus mountains to the north of the city.
Andy told me that many people outside the country still think it must be a ‘warzone’. This is probably due to the monumental fuss made by the international media over an incident last year which has become known as the
2008 South Ossetia war. The reality of this war was a few days of localised conflict on the borders of a region which has been fighting for independence for nearly twenty years, but this didn’t stop it being portrayed as the closest thing to World War III (with a good deal of anti-Russian spin for good measure).
Today, a tentative peace prevails. Ethnic groups arbitrarily united and divided by newly-drawn borders still struggle to accept their neighbours and find justice for past wrongs done against them, but it seems that most people would rather harbour their resentments and get on with the business of eating, drinking, working and having families.
We headed out of Tbilisi – me, Andy and his Georgian mountain-biking friend Dato – towards Zhinvali and the small mountain villages of Georgia; square, tin-roofed, wide-terraced houses of bleached wood and crumbling concrete. Vines pulsed with ripe grapes, chickens, calves and sows roamed the little pot-holed tracks, and the trees were just beginning to dust the ground with the oranges and browns of autumn. It was our last chance to go and explore these high, remote valleys before the onset of the harsh Caucasian winter that
Andy and I knew all too well.

full article >>>

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

VIDEO: Russia's Hidden War. By Evan Williams (

A hidden war is escalating in the Caucasus Mountains along Russia's southern fringe.
In response to an increasing number of suicide attacks, Moscow says it is battling militant Islam in the tiny republic of Ingushetia.
But locals say hundreds of innocent civilians are being kidnapped, tortured and murdered at the hands of Russian security forces.This week Evan Williams travels to Ingushetia to report on this deadly battle for control.
Locals say they live in terror of a Russian security apparatus out of control.
Find out more this Sunday 8:30pm on SBS ONE.

Evan Williams has twenty years experience covering the world's most troubled regions.

In the Caucasus Mountains along Russia's southern fringe, a hidden war is escalating. Moscow says it's battling militant Islam in the tiny republic of Ingushetia. But people here say hundreds of innocent civilians are being tortured and murdered.

Full transcription here >>>

Watching video here >>>

STORY: Even positive gestures can cause trouble in Caucasus. By Scott Taylor (

IT WAS LAST YEAR around this time that I made an extensive reporting trip to the volatile Caucasus region. This strategically vital territory between the Black and Caspian seas is a veritable hornet’s nest of mutually hostile former Soviet republics and breakaway ethnic enclaves. Although the distances are not vast, my travels were made extremely problematic due to the number of closed borders, frozen conflicts and not so frozen conflicts.

In August 2008, the world’s attention had been briefly diverted away from the Beijing Olympics to news reports of conflict in South Ossetia. Very few pundits really understood the underlying cause of the clash, namely that ethnic Georgian forces had attempted to forcibly reclaim the tiny, self-declared independent territory back into its own sovereign authority.

When Russian troops subsequently intervened on behalf of the South Ossetians, western military analysts reverted to their well-worn Cold War playbooks to denounce Russia’s "aggression." It mattered not that Georgian troops had initiated the attack, and had been guilty of widespread slaughter of civilians and ethnic cleansing prior to the Russian intervention. The sight of columns of T-72 Russian tanks rolling through the North Ossetian mountain pass caused U.S. Senator John McCain to make the bizarre declaration that "today we are all Georgians."

As events unfolded, World War Three did not erupt, Russia did not annex Georgia, as many had feared, and after France successfully negotiated a ceasefire, the Caucasus returned to the status of being a wobbly stack of short-fused powder kegs. With the crisis thus averted, the western media coverage quickly returned to the Olympic Games.

Never fully examined was the devastating domino effect that could have plunged the entire region into yet another round of vicious bloodletting. For centuries, there have been eruptions of violence between the three major Caucasus occupants — Georgians, Armenians and Azeris — as well as the smaller minorities such as the Abkhazians, Ossetians and Circassians

full article >>>


PAINTING: Rainer Fetting, "Mauer am Südstern" and "The First Painting Of The Wall In Berlin" (

SUBTITEL: Invitation for comming to the Caucasus !

Oil and sand on canvas, 70,9 x 94,5 in. / 180 x 240 cm, 1988

Dispersion on nettle, 63 x 74,8 in. / 160 x 190 cm, 1977

Three aspects I would like to term here. At first my friend Hans Heiner Buhr likes the art from Rainer Fetting very much. In twitter he invites him to come to the Caucasus: "artclubcaucasus: We would like to contact German painter Rainer Fetting and invite him for a landscape Plein-air in Georgia, Caucasus, how to contact him ?"

Otherwise it is interesting to see the discussion in and about the caucasus around this subject of wall and border. Saakashvili called weeks ago the russians would built a wall in the caucasus. There are a photo-exhibition in Tbilisi and Gori. They were a symbol for that. Photos of the war hung on a wall ... and should sign the break in the Caucasus. And this days we have a new discussion about the new security configuration in the Caucasus ... the reason is the change of the relation between Turkey and Armenia ... it could be possible that the wall or better the barbed wire is disappearing anytime ... But than you can have another problems with Karabakh ... Scott Taylor spoke: "Even positive gestures can cause trouble in Caucasus" What are you thinking about this? I don't know more ...

Anyway it is a good idea from Hans to invite Rainer Fetting in the Caucasus! And for the caucasians could be interesting to ask an artist from Germany how is the life under such difficult conditions of disunion, separation, segregation, resegregation, disestabblishment, secession, abreption, disconnection, cut-off from common relations and to lose one's reason ... (Ralph Hälbig)