Tuesday, February 27, 2018

LEIPZIG: Anniversary Exhibition Celebrating 10 Years LIA - Sedimente - with Georgian & Caucasian Artists, 8 March 2018 at 7pm

We cordially invite you to the opening of the anniversary group show “Sediments” on the occasion of 10 years LIA on 8 March 2018 at 7pm in the exhibition space “Werkschau” at Spinnerei Leipzig!

Source: Anniversary Exhibition Celebrating 10 Years LIA

Opening & tour through the Exhibition
in conversation with cultural protagonists of the city of Leipzig

Thursday, 8 March 2018 at 7pm
Location: Spinnerei Werkschau (hall 12)

Exhibition runs: 9 March – 24 March 2018
Open: Thursday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm
and on request

Sediments - Anniversary Exhibition celebrating 10 years LIA Leipzig International Art Programme

Many artists work intermittently outside of cultures familiar to them. The LIA residency - Leipzig International Art Programme, has supported this form of artistic nomadism for now ten years. Over 200 artists from more than 40 nations have been through this program, enabling them a working stay of three or six months in the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, the former cotton mill - now cultural hub of international renown. For some artists, this opportunity marked a new chapter of their professional life. The change of location, a studio, as well as the supportive benefit of visits from guest critics.

The exhibition, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the LIA residency, focuses on that which the artists, as cultural ambassadors, have taken with them on their journey, and from which they make visible fragmentarily in their Leipzig work - like sediments, deposits of substances; traces that remain after departing elsewhere. In their trans-cultural context, the artists' works become indicators of political, economic or ecological processes, operating as aesthetic speculations of further developments. The exhibition covers all mediums of contemporary art, and shows a selection of works from over 50 international awardees of the LIA programme.

We cordially invite you to the opening of the exhibition on 8 March 2018 at 7pm in the Spinnerei Werkschau.

Anna-Louise Rolland, LIA director / founder
Laura Bierau, LIA programme coordinator


Katie Armstrong (USA), Catalina Bauer (Chile), Eva Borner (Switzerland), Tamar Botchorishvili (Georgia), Nadja Bournonville (Sweden), Osvaldo Budet (Puerto Rico), Connor Calhoun (USA), Ian Cao (USA/China), Francesco Cincotta (USA/Italien), Ryan Daffurn (Australia), Martin Daiber (Chile), Mitja Ficko (Slovenia), Aika Furukawa (Japan), Elisabeth Glassner (USA), Nikita Kadan (Ukraine), Zhanna Kadyrova (Ukraine), Madeleine Kelly (Australia), Alison Kennedy (Australia), David Ashley Kerr (Australia), Tinatin Kiguradze (Georgia), Trevor Kiernander (Canada), Jaebum Kim (South Korea), David Kukalashvili (Georgia), Luiza Laperadze (Georgia), Sophia Lapiashvili (Georgia), Gyeore Lee (South Korea), Kylie Lefkowitz (USA), Euan MacLeod (Australia), Jordan Marani (Australia), Elisabeth Moritz (Sweden), Darren Munce (Australia), Lada Nakonechna (Ukraine), Alexander Povzner (Russia), Raiya Al Rawahi (Sultanat Oman), Sarina Scheidegger (Schweiz), Simon Sieradzki (Australia), Douglas Stichbury (New Zealand), Julia Stoddard (USA), Simon Tatum (Cayman Islands), Brooke Tomiello (USA), Shonah Trescott (Australia), Guram Tsibakhashvili (Georgia), Samuel Vanderveken (Belgium), Taylor Varous (USA), Andrea Garcia Vasquez (USA), Jahnne Pasco-White (Australia), Antonia Wright (USA), Jahangir Youssif (Aserbaidschan)

Sowie als Teil des Grafikprojekts / And as part of the graphic project
„Die Sprache Radierung – Radierungen 10. New York – Leipzig":

Marcelo Daldoce (USA), Franziska Holstein (Leipzig), Volker Hüller (USA), John Jacobsmeyer (USA), Henriette Grahnert (Leipzig), Bastian Muhr (Leipzig), Maria und Vldao Ondrej (Leipzig), Charlotte Seghall (USA), Matthias Weischer (Leipzig)

Website: liap.eu/sediments - anniversary group show on the occasion of 10 years lia

BOOK: Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces. Religious Pluralism in the Post-Soviet Caucasus. Edited by Tsypylma Darieva, Florian Mühlfried, & Kevin Tuite (berghahnbooks.com)

Source: berghahnbooks.com

“This volume shares in a rich resurgence of writing on religious activity across the former Soviet Union and particularly in areas of the Caucasus, offering sharp insight into arguably one of the most popular religious traditions, shrine pilgrimage, about which we know surprisingly little. The editors have gathered the highly qualified scholars for the task, including a number of specialists from the Caucasus proper.” • Bruce Grant, New York University

Though long-associated with violence, the Caucasus is a region rich with religious conviviality. Based on fresh ethnographies in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation, Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces discusses vanishing and emerging sacred places in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious post-Soviet Caucasus. In exploring the effects of de-secularization, growing institutional control over hybrid sacred sites, and attempts to review social boundaries between the religious and the secular, these essays give way to an emergent Caucasus viewed from the ground up: dynamic, continually remaking itself, within shifting and indefinite frontiers.

Tsypylma Darieva is a senior research fellow at the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin and is teaching at Humboldt University Berlin. Her research and teaching interests include anthropology of migration, diaspora and homeland, urbanity, and sacred places in Central Eurasia. She has conducted fieldwork in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Germany. Darieva is the author of Russkij Berlin: Migranten und Medien in Berlin und London (LIT, 2004), co-editor of Cosmopolitan Sociability: Locating Transnational Religious and Diasporic Networks (Routledge, 2011), Urban Spaces after Socialism: Ethnographies of Public Places in Eurasian Cities (Campus, 2011) and of the forthcoming volume Sakralität und Mobilität in Südosteuropa und im Kaukasus.

Florian Mühlfried is a social anthropologist in the Caucasus Studies Program at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and a visiting professor at UNICAMP, Brazil. He has published the monograph Being a State and States of Being in Highland Georgia (Berghahn, 2014), a book on feasting in Georgia (ibidem, 2006), and edited the volume Mistrust: Ethnographic Approximations (Transcript, 2018).

Kevin Tuite is Professor of Anthropology at the Université de Montréal. He also directed the Caucasus Studies Program at the FSU-Jena from 2011 to 2014. His publications include Language, Culture and Society: Key Topics in Linguistic Anthropology (co-edited with Christine Jourdan) (Cambridge, 2006).


List of Illustrations

Tsypylma Darieva, Florian Mühlfried and Kevin Tuite

Chapter 1. Between ‘Great’ and ‘Little' Traditions? Situating Shia Saints in Contemporary Baku
Tsypylma Darieva

Chapter 2. Women as Bread-Bakers and Ritual-Makers: Gender, Visibility and Sacred Space in Upper Svaneti
Nino Tserediani, Kevin Tuite and Paata Bukhrashvili

Chapter 3. The Chain of Seven Pilgrimages in Kotaik, Armenia: Between Folk and Official Christianity
Levon Abrahamian, Zaruhi Hambardzumyan, Gayane Shagoyan and Gohar Stepanyan

Chapter 4. Sacred Sites in the Western Caucasus and the Black Sea Region: Typology, Hybridization, Functioning
Igor V. Kuznetsov

Chapter 5. The Power of the Shrine and Creative Performances in Ingiloy Sacred Rituals
Nino Aivazishvili-Gehne

Chapter 6. Accompanying the Souls of the Dead: The Transformation of Sacral Time and Encounters
Hege Toje

Chapter 7. Not Sharing the Sacra
Florian Mühlfried

Chapter 8. Informal Shrines and Social Transformations: The Murids as New Religious Mediators among Yezidis in Armenia
Hamlet Melkumyan

Chapter 9. Sharing the Not-Sacred: Rabati and Displays of Multiculturalism
Silvia Serrano


ART: Painting and Drawing by Mariam Kandiashvili

Born in 1993 Tbilisi, Georgia. Mariam Kandiashvili started her education in visual art at the age of twelve at a private studio of famous Georgian artists Tamaz and Gia Khutsishvili. After graduating high school she continued her studies abroad. She took a contemporary art preparatory course at Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam. Later moved to England and studied illustration for two years at Arts University Bournemouth. In 2016 returned to Tbilisi and continued her artistic practice there.

Kandiashvili’s artworks are focused on various themes such as; Christian mysticism, world mythology, literature and poetry, psychology, aesthetic style and music of western culture of 1950s, 60s and 70s. Her works portray dreamlike and enigmatic worlds, imaginary lands, emotionally expressive portraits, modern day cityscapes, bizarre characters and beasts. Her works are often containing texts and poems created by the author herself. She works with the use of different materials and likes experimentation but chooses oil painting as her main medium.

More: mariamkandiashvili.wordpress.com

Mariam Kandiashvili, “Desert of time” 60x80cm – Oil on canvas – 2011

Monday, February 26, 2018

LITERATUR: Georgische Märchen - Ein schöner Beitrag von Katrin Tevdorashvili (georgia-insight.eu)

(georgia-insight.eu) Georgien ist das Land der Märchen und Legenden, die Georgier selbst ein Volk, das für seine Erzählfreudigkeit berühmt ist. Noch heute ist es selbstverständlich, dass Großeltern ihren Enkeln Märchen erzählen, bekannte und selbst erfundene.

Märchen als Spiegel der Geschichte

Die überlieferten Märchen der Georgier sind ein Spiegel ihrer Geschichte; sie vermitteln ein Bild der Lebensumstände, der Vorstellungswelt und der Gesellschaftsstruktur. Einige feste Muster in den mündlichen Überlieferungen wurden zu markanten Kennzeichen der georgischen Märchen und unterscheiden sie von denen anderer Völker.

Die Georgischen Märchen sind in ihrer Mischung aus sehr realistischen Beschreibungen und Zauberhaftem nicht nur Zeugnisse der Phantasie, sondern auch der Sehnsucht nach einem glücklichen Leben und ihres Strebens nach Gerechtigkeit.

Folgende Einführung in das Thema Märchen aus Georgien wurde mit leichten Änderungen der Einleitung einer Märchensammlung (erschienen 1980) von Heinz Fähnrich und Heinz Mode entnommen.

Meeresungeheuer, Fresko in der Swetizchoweli Kathedrale. Foto von Katrin Tevdorashvili
Märchen als Spiegel der inneren Geisteshaltung

Die georgischen Märchen legen nicht nur Zeugnis für die reiche Phantasie und Erzählfreudigkeit des Volke; ab, um in diesem Sinne persönlichen Wünschen der Menschen Ausdruck zu verleihen, sondern sie entsprechen vor allem auch gesellschaftlichen Interessen. Klassenunterschiede und soziale Kämpfe finden in ihnen recht klaren Ausdruck, und die Auflehnung gegen die Ungerechtigkeit der Herrschenden und die Unterdrückung durch die Mächtigen ist in vielen Märchen Hauptteil der Handlung.

Märchen, die so klar gesellschaftliche Anliegen zum Ausdruck bringen, sind meist spät entstanden.

Quelle: Georgische Märchen, Heinz Fähnrich, Insel Verlag 1980


Ein weiterer Beitrag von Teona Gogichaishvili zu den georgischen Märchen - "Mit magischen Elementen zum Kulturaustausch" im Deutschlandfunk (@DLF)

VIDEO: Reinhold Messner speaks about a balance of tourism in Georgia - or is this video a PR Campaign for mass tourism ?

Rheinhold Messner's trip to Georgia Follow the legendary explorer

Rheinhold Messner on his way through epic Georgian mountains! Majestic Ushba Mount, breathtaking landscapes of Greater Caucasus, fruitful vineyards and ancient churches in the lowlands are ready to be discovered!

Source: https://georgia.travel

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC: Neues von der Georgischen Musikerin Russudan Meipariani

Russudan Meipariani's Soloprogramm ist in georgischer Sprache und vertont Lyrik von Galaktioni. Im Herbst 2017 gab es zum ersten Mal eine Zusammenarbeit mit dem Tbilisi Contemporary Ballet, dem progressivsten Tanzensemble Georgiens tbilisiballet.ge. Die Choreographie zu Russudans Vertonungen wurden im November 2017 in Tiflis uraufgeführt und begeistert aufgenommen. Nun soll die Zusammenarbeit fortgesetzt und erweitert werden- zur Buchmesse kommt das Ensemble nach Deutschland und es wäre ein spannendes, interdisziplinäres Experiment und ein Brückenschlag zwischen den Welten, mit zeitgenössischen Texten zu arbeiten und deren musikalische Umsetzung durch Russudan als Choreographie aufzuführen...

Projekt: www.tbilisiballet.ge/geo/projects

Russudan Meipariani, Am bneli gamit

Russudan Meipairani, Miniature for prepared piano

Weitere Informationen:
Ulrike Bohnet M.A.
urankyz kulturvermittlung
Böblinger Str. 12 B
70178 Stuttgart

Tel.: 0711-66487107 // 015771-528451

VIDEO: Georgian Artist Niniko Morbedadze

Video Art by Nato Shushania based on Niniko Morbedadze Paintings

VIDEO: Baku - Hitlers Kampf ums Öl

Der Zweite Weltkrieg war ein Krieg der Maschinen: Ob Flugzeug, Panzer oder Schiff - nur das Land mit dem Zugriff auf ausreichende Ölreserven würde den Ausgang für sich entscheiden können. Kein Wunder also, dass Hitler versessen darauf war, die Herrschaft über Baku, den einst größten Ölproduzenten der Welt, an sich zu reißen. Mit unvergleichlichem militärischem Aufwand startete Deutschlands Diktator seinen Eroberungsfeldzug - doch Sowjets und Alliierte steuerten mit allen Mitteln dagegen.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

BOOK: Tbilisi - Archive of Transition. Klaus Neuburg, Sebastian Pranz, Wato Tseretelli et al. (eds.) (niggli.ch)

Source: niggli.ch
_The changing faces of Tbilisi
_Multiple dimension of urban Transformation
_Different perspectives by different protagonists
_Texts are accompanied by images and photo essays

The capital of Georgia practically presents a new face every day. Ambitious building projects and large foreign investments are constantly changing the cityscape of Tbilisi. This relentless development is the subject of much debate among the city's residents: What should be preserved and what may be subjected to change? What is available for sale and what is common property? What do we want to remember and what are our sources of inspiration?

Urban planners, architects, activists, clerics, and politicians recount what the changes mean to them and to life in the unknown city in the South Caucasus. The very diverse and impressively illustrated contributions give an immediate view of the multiple changes taking place between the desire for the preservation of the past and the dawn of a new era.

English, 192 pages, 220 illustrations, 21.5 x 32.5 cm, softcover ISBN 978-3-7212-0983-9 1 edition Release date: 05/2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

CALL FOR APPLICATION: The Marshrutka Project Summer School 2: Eurasian Mobilities in a Global Perspective (marshrutka.net)

Source: marshrutka.net
Organisers: Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), Leipzig, Germany
Tbilisi State University (TSU), Tbilisi, Georgia
Location: Tbilisi and Kazbegi, Georgia
Dates: June 25-30, 2018

Photo: Nicholas Johnson: Marshrutka from Yerevan / Flickr Gallery: flickr.com/georgienblogspotcom
Summer School Goals
The PhD Summer School is embedded in the research project Fluid mobilities for cities in transformation: spatial dynamics of marshrutkas in Central Asia and the Caucasus (Marshrutka Project). Within the scope of the project, we want to gain insights into transformation processes through the lens of changing mobility practices.

The summer school on Eurasian Mobilities in a Global Perspective invites advanced doctoral students, post-doctoral and early career-researchers from diverse disciplines, such as geography, urban studies, anthropology, social and political sciences, to contribute to two thematic packages:
– Mobilities and socio-spatial change in Eurasian Cities
– Informal transport and ride-sharing the global North and South
The primary goal of the summer school is to initiate collaborative publication projects related to the two thematic packages. We therefore expect a full paper draft to be submitted timely before the start of the summer school, in order to advance the joint publication project in relevant high-profile journals. Building on this, the summer school offers [1] an opportunity to share, discuss, and receive feedback for publication drafts, [2] training sessions on publishing and career planning, [3] thematic keynote talks, and [4] mobility-themed field trips, and last but not least, [5] a few day’s long retreat to the mountainous town Stepantsminda (Kazbegi).

The summer school is designed to encourage transnational interdisciplinary discussions, and provide high-impact feedback and networking opportunities for its participants. Besides offering a unique and understudied thematic focus, we offer a cosy and thorough working environment. The summer school participants will consist of five project-funded PhD students and two post-doctoral researchers, ten external doctoral students and early career researchers (please see information on funding opportunities below), ten senior academic project partners from Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Tajik, Russian, Georgian and German academic institutions, international and local keynote speakers, trainers and stakeholders.

About the Marshrutka Project

Minibuses locally known as marshrutkas are a common sight in urban and rural landscapes of Central Asia and the Caucasus. The Marshrutka project deals with the role of the marshrutka mobility phenomenon in the production of post-Soviet urban spaces, in and beyond Central Asia and the Caucasus. It provides an empirically founded contribution to the larger discussion on post-Soviet transformation, and fosters a still under-represented view on post-Soviet transformation, highlighting – through the lens of the marshrutka phenomenon – the bottom-up and everyday emergence of new orders in the fields of economy, morale, urban development and migration. The project is carried out by means of five complementary PhD projects under supervision of academic project partners; in addition, a post-doc based at the IfL in Leipzig is charged with a cross-cutting research project and ensures the conceptual coherence of the project. The project sees its outcomes in terms of a solid and sustainable transfer of knowledge and methods, from German partners towards the academic institutions in the target regions, and vice versa, strengthened local research capacities and infrastructures, and long-lasting research cooperation. The project has started in late 2015, and will be entering into its final phase in 2018. The summer school is therefore designed in order to build upon the research progress done so far, and transform it into high-profile publications, and, furthermore, to strengthen and expand the marshrutka research networks with follow-up projects in mind.

Thematic Focus

The summer school focuses on two thematic packages: [1] Mobilities and multiple transformations in Eurasian Cities and [2] Informal transport and ride-sharing the global North and South. Each package corresponds to the Marshrutka projects’ contribution to two sets of literature: [1] urban geography, anthropology, and political economy of post-socialist states, and [2] critical mobility and critical urban transport studies.

The thematic package mobilities and socio-spatial change in Eurasian Cities will address how changing urban mobility governance and mobility practices relate to – shape and are shaped by – social, economic and political transformations on urban, national and regional levels. This thematic package will focus on, but not be limited, to cities on Eurasian peripheries, primarily Central Asian and South Caucasus cities.
– Sub-topics of the thematic package may include
– Mobility governance and urban economy
– Urban transport and social inequalities
– Transport, urban citizenship and claiming public space
– Intersections of mobility and migration

Informal transport and ride-sharing in the global North and South thematic package will put the research on informal transport, be it marshrutkas, ride-sharing or private taxi sector in Eurasian cities, in dialogue with the research on informal paratransit and new digitally powered ride-sourcing mobility offers in different global regions. This thematic package explicitly welcomes diversity in geographical coverage, and comparisons across cities, as well as across old and new modes of informal transport and ride-sharing practices. Sub-topics of the thematic package include:
– Theories and methods of studying paratransit/informal transport
– Digitalisation of mobility offers
– Transport workers mobilisations
– New chances and inequalities of new mobility offers

Submission guidelines

The application should include a motivation letter, a short CV and an abstract (not more than 500 words) of the paper you are planning to present at the summer school.

Please submit the application to Henri Schauer (H_Schauer@ifl-leipzig.de) by the 15th of March, 2018.
Selected applicants will be contacted by the 10th of April, 2018.
The full paper drafts should be submitted by May 30th, 2018.

Travel grants

The participation of the Summer School is free of charge. We offer travel grants of up to 400€ to eight selected applicants.

Call for Papers as Pdf-file: CfA draft_Summer School Final [pdf]

Thursday, February 15, 2018

MUSIC: Moonlight Daughter - by Nino Arobelidze

Girl Named Nino is a band, artist and an album. It is the brainchild of Nino Arobelidze, Chicago-based singer, multi- instrumentalist from Tbilisi, Georgia. Nino's songwriting and multi-disciplinary pursuits have brought her into various collaborations in film, dance theater and television, including writing original songs for the documentary film; Our Blood is Wine (Music Box Films 2018).

more: www.girlnamednino.com

more links:

Friday, February 09, 2018

REZENSION: Grigol Robakidse: "Magische Quellen". Das Stammesbewusstsein gurgelte. Von Christoph Schröder via @DLF

(deutschlandfunk.de) Nach und nach beginnen deutschsprachige Verlage, Schriftsteller aus Georgien zu entdecken und zu übersetzen. Unter dem Titel "Magische Quellen" sind nun drei kurze Novellen des 1882 geborenen und 1962 gestorbenen Autors Grigol Robakidse erschienen. Robakidse gilt als Klassiker, er ist aber auch durchaus umstritten.

Podcast: deutschlandfunk.de/grigol robakidse: magische quellen

Dem Orgiastischen, Wilden und Animalischen auf der Spur: Robakidses ideologische Irrwege müsse man aus ihrer Zeit heraus betrachten, schreibt Christoph Schröder (Arco Verlag / dpa/picture alliance/Thomas Schulze)
Es ist ein so kurzes wie verwirrendes Buch, mit dem man es hier zu tun hat. Verwirrend in der Ambivalenz und in der Mischung aus schönen Sätzen und erhabenen Naturbetrachtungen einerseits und in der Verwendung völkischen Vokabulars andererseits, das einem aus "Magische Quellen" entgegenschlägt. Gemeinsam mit einem Filmteam macht sich der Ich-Erzähler in der Novelle "Magische Quellen" auf in den Kaukasus, um dort dem legendären Bergvolk der Chewsuren zu begegnen und eine Dokumentation zu drehen. Und gleich zu Beginn der Reise wird deutlich, welche Perspektive der Erzähler auf die Landschaft wirft:

"Hier ist die Erde noch in Wahrheit 'Mutter Erde', warmschößig, früchteträchtig. Bis zur Beklemmung spürt man den gewaltigen, lebendigen, urhaften Mythos. Vorweltliches umweht und umweht dich."

Grigol Robakidse ist eine Figur der georgischen Literatur, deren ideologische Irrwege aus ihrer Zeit heraus betrachtet werden müssen. 1921 war es ausgerechnet der Georgier Josef Stalin, der die Demokratische Republik Georgien besetzte und der Sowjetunion einverleibte. Die Erhaltung nationaler Identität und der Befreiungskampf gegen die sowjetische Vorherrschaft wurden zu einem prägenden Bestandteil von Robakidses Biografie. Hinzu kommt, dass Robakidse in seinen Texten ohnehin dem Orgiastischen, Wilden und Animalischen nachspürt.

Ein erzählerisches Versinken in einer archaischen Kultur

"Magische Quellen" ist eine abenteuerliche Selbsterfahrungsreise. Der Ich-Erzähler versinkt förmlich in der archaischen Kultur der Chewsuren. Mit einem von ihnen geht er eine Blutsbrüderschaft ein. Wie überhaupt das Blut ein Leitmotiv der Novelle ist, sei es in Form von Opferritualen, sei es in Gestalt des greisen Medizinmannes, der seine Heilkraft aus alten, mythischen Zeiten hinüber gerettet hat. Während eines Festmahls im Kreis der Chewsuren reflektiert der Ich-Erzähler die vermeintlich überlegene Stärke eines geschlossenen Volkskörpers:

"Der Einzelne verlor sein eigenes Gepräge. Das Stammesbewusstsein gurgelte in unterirdischen Quellen. Das Sippengedächtnis tat seine Arbeit. Vom starken Blutstrom der Rasse ergriffen, schienen diese Menschen einfache physische Glieder eines unsichtbaren Ganzen zu sein. Irgendwo in den zahllosen Schichten des Unterbewusstseins musste wohl das lebendige Bild des Stammes aufsteigen und sich selber neu erschaffen."

Häufig ist im Zusammenhang mit Grigol Robakidse zu lesen, es sei bedauerlich, dass die Qualität seiner Texte immer wieder hinter seiner Biografie verschwinde. Doch vielleicht ist beides auch nicht voneinander zu trennen. Denn ja: "Magische Quellen" und auch die beiden anderen kurzen Novellen, die der Band enthält, bestechen auch in der Übersetzung durch große Suggestivität, intensive atmosphärische Schilderungen und ein ausgeprägtes Stilbewusstsein. Andererseits gilt es festzuhalten, dass Robakidses Anfälligkeit für Pathos und ekstatische Rauschzustände ihn geradewegs in die Faszination für begnadete Rhetoriker wie Mussolini und Hitler hinein trieb.

Exil und Freundschaft mit Intellektuellen

1931 ging Robakidse ins Exil nach Deutschland, schloss Freundschaft mit Intellektuellen wie dem Soziologen Werner Sombart und lernte die deutsche Sprache. Als georgischer Widerstandskämpfer schloss er sich einer Organisation an, die mit der Wehrmacht kooperierte. Nach Kriegsende musste Robakidse Deutschland wegen seiner Zusammenarbeit mit dem NS-Regime verlassen und ging in die Schweiz. Vor diesem Hintergrund ist die rein literarische Beurteilung der zu Beginn der 1930er-Jahre entstandenen kaukasischen Novellen eine komplexe Angelegenheit.

"Magische Quellen" ist kein Dokument eines hitzigen und spontan ausgebrochenen Nationalismus. Vielmehr sucht Robakidse den Anschluss an die tieferen, mythischen Zeiten in allen Lebensbereichen. Als sein Ich-Erzähler sich in die Cousine seines chewsurischen Blutsbruders verliebt und die beiden die erste Nacht verbringen, macht Robakidse daraus umgehend weit mehr als nur die Darstellung einer körperlichen Annäherung:

"Ich empfand sie als etwas Urzeitliches, als Eva, fast der Individualität bar. Wir lagen Brust an Brust, berührten uns. Sie wich zurück, aber sie löste ihre Lippen nicht von den meinen. Ihre Brüste erschienen mir wie Flusskiesel, von der Sonne durchglüht. Sie selber war hart und fest wie Felsenstein. Und aus dem Felsenstein sprang ein Quell: ihr Mund, von dem ich tierhaft gierig trank."

Man mag davon hin und wieder peinlich berührt sein, von diesem aufgeladenen Sound, der sich gegen alle Selbstverständlichkeiten der Moderne positioniert. Hoch interessant allerdings ist auf der anderen Seite, dass Robakidses "Magische Quellen" die zivilisatorischen Koordinaten genau kennen und sie archaisch überschreiben. Als Haltung gegenüber der Welt entwickelt dieses literarische Prinzip eine nicht unbedeutende Sogkraft. Man muss nur eben mitdenken, dass der Versuch der vollständigen ästhetischen Entgrenzung selbst immer auch totalitäre Züge in sich trägt.

Mehr zum Thema:
Gastland Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018 Warum Georgien auf die EU hofft
Hochgebirge in Georgien Tuschetiens heilige Orte
Kulturkampf in Georgien Der Ritter im Tigerfell hat ausgedient

Sunday, February 04, 2018

BOOK: Baku - Oil and Urbanism. By Eve Blau & Ivan Rupnik

- Baku is a textbook-case of the interdependence of energy extraction and urban design
- This is the first ever comprehensive study on the close interplay between the oil industry and urbanism
- Richly illustrated with largely unknown or previously unpublished material
- Features a newly commissioned photo essay on contemporary Baku by celebrated photographer Iwan Baan

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and formerly part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, is the original oil city, with oil and urbanism thoroughly intertwined - economically, politically, and physical - in the city’s fabric. Baku saw its first oil boom in the late nineteenth century, driven by the Russian branch of the Nobel family modernizing the oil fields around Baku as local oil barons poured their new wealth into building a cosmopolitan city center. During the Soviet period, Baku became the site of an urban experiment: the shaping of an oil city of socialist man. That project included Neft Dashlari, a city built on trestles in the Caspian Sea and designed to house thousands of workers, schools, shops, gardens, clinics, and cinemas as well as 2,000 oil rigs, pipelines, and collecting stations. Today, as it heads into an uncertain post-oil future, Baku’s planners and business elites regard the legacy of its past as a resource that sustains new aspirations and identities. Richly illustrated with historical images and archival material, this book tells the story of the city, paying particular attention to how the disparate spatial logics, knowledge bases, and practices of oil production and urban production intersected, affected, and transformed one another creating an urban cultural environment unique among extraction sites. The book also features a new photo essay by celebrated photographer Iwan Baan.

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and formerly part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, is a city built on and with oil. In fact, oil and urbanism in Baku have been completely intertwined, economically, politically, and physically in the spaces of the city.

Its first oil boom in the late 19th century was driven by the Russian branch of the Nobel family modernising the exploitation of oil fields around Baku, and local oil barons pouring their new wealth into building a cosmopolitan city centre. During the Soviet period, Baku became the site of an urban experiment: the shaping an oil city of socialist man. This project included Neft Dashlari, a city built on trestles in the Caspian Sea, housing thousands of workers, schools, shops, gardens, clinics, cinemas and more. This first off-shore rig in the world became the emblem of Baku's second oil boom. Today, Baku is experiencing its third oil boom. For Baku's city planners and business elites, that future is based on a careful reading of Baku as a project in which urbanism and oil are inextricably linked.

This new book investigates how oil stimulated urban development in Baku, and explores in detail the more complex and important question of how the disparate spatial logics, knowledge bases, and practices of oil production and urban production intersected, impacted and transformed one another. Based on a vast research project and drawing on rich and previously unpublished material, Baku - Oil and Urbanism is organised into three broadly conceived historical periods defined by the political, economic, technological conditions in which the interwoven evolution of oil and urban production unfolded. The book also features a new photo essay by celebrated photographer Iwan Baan.

Eve Blau is a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has previously been Curator of Exhibitions and Publications at the Canadian Centre of Architecture CCA in Montreal. Ivan Rupnik teaches as an associate professor at the Northeastern University's College of Arts, Media and Design in Boston.

Link: Oil and Urbanism in Baku. By Jason Kornwitz (2012) [news.northeastern.edu]