Geographien | doing geography

Räumlichkeiten & Zeitlichkeiten, Personen, Dinge & Tun | Notes on the creation of social space

#Svaneti Series

The article series „Svaneti Series“ (distributed via Twitter @doinggeography) provides insights and analyses of the historical region of Svaneti in Georgia social life from a geographical viewpoint. This means that all articles examine the social space and the practices taking place within it. This includes both the built space and the non-built space and all communications about places and spaces. The series of articles addresses English speaking tourists who visit Svaneti and are interested in more information about the culture, ecology and economic conditions in the region. The article series is distributed via Twitter, see @doinggeography.

#pre-Soviet history

#research

Vibrant Spaces of Svaneti

Project Draft (Sebastian Pranz, Stéphane Voell, Stefan Applis) – Project Start in Spring 2022 Svaneti is a space in which the history of the Caucasus is visibly inscribed and lively enacted in the Svan culture and tradition. However, this spectacular space is increasingly showing traces of fatigue as tourists from all over the world come […]

„Architectural and Urban futures of the South Caucasus“

This month it is the Caucasus Through Time Network’s greatest pleasure to host its first Architecture and Urbanism Seminar, showcasing the fascinating work of PhD researchers and Professors: Ia Kupatadze, Andreh Marouti, Stefan Applis and Mariam Urdia. Our speakers explore topics related to architectural and urban practices governed by modernity, local traditions, political ideology and […]

#recent history

Svaneti Series | The snow catastrophe of winter 1986/87

The article series „Svaneti Series“ (distributed via Twitter @doinggeography) provides insights and analyses of the histoircal region of Svaneti in Georgia social life from a geographical viewpoint. This means that all articles examine the social space and the practices taking place within it. This includes both the built space and the non-built space and all […]

#soviet-times

The Svans as members of the ‚Oriental Other‘ in the Soviet film „Salt for Svanetia“ (1930) by Mikhail Kalatozov | A visual commentary (Part I)

One of Sergei Tretyakov’s most famous works is the film „Salt for Svanetia“ (1930), for which he wrote the screenplay together with director Mikhail Kalatozov. Today, ‚Salt for Svanetia‘ is viewed by most people, if one reads the internet commentaries, to be a documentary film, a realistic depiction of the living conditions in Svaneti as […]

The Svans as members of the ‚Oriental Other‘ in the Soviet film „Salt for Svanetia“ (1930) by Mikhail Kalatozov | A visual commentary (Part II)

In Mikhail Kalatozov’s ‚Salt for Svaneti‘, it is already apparent in the subtitles of the opening scenes that the culture of the Svans is isolated from civilization because of the harshness of geographical nature. This sets the line of propagandistic interpretation. In Ushguli, there are traces of a lack of culture that are related to […]

The Svans as members of the ‚Oriental Other‘ in the Soviet film „Salt for Svanetia“ (1930) by Mikhail Kalatozov | A visual commentary (Part III)

In the introduction to Part I of the essay, three lines of argumentation and aims of the film were highlighted, which in themselves are difficult to unite: On the one hand, the typical characteristics of the Svan culture should be portrayed in order to show what can be regarded as exceptional and valuable about it. […]

An overview on “Gorge People” (1928) by Sergei Tretyakov: Svaneti in the Soviet period (Part I)

With the October Revolution in 1917, Georgia declared itself independent from Russia, but independence did not last long. In 1921, the Democratic Republic of Georgia was occupied by Red Army troops and incorporated into the Soviet system. Sergey Tretyakov (1892-1939), an influential artist, journalist and art theorist of the Soviet era, spent several periods in […]

#society

Svaneti Series | The struggle of the villages against the water power and the threatening destruction of the familiar life

The article series „Svaneti Series“ (distributed via Twitter @doinggeography) provides insights and analyses of the histoircal region of Svaneti in Georgia social life from a geographical viewpoint. This means that all articles examine the social space and the practices taking place within it. This includes both the built space and the non-built space and all […]

Svaneti Series | Svaneti as Switzerland of the Caucasus

The push for the development of tourism, as currently seen in Upper Svaneti, came from the former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. The World Heritage status of the village Chazhashi from the village community Ushguli, which was achieved in 1996, was intended to attract international tourists to Svaneti. In 2019, the number of tourists had already […]

Svaneti Series | Inheritance law and land distribution in Svaneti still follows traditional role concepts

The film „My neighbor Ana“ gives a small insight into conflicts currently typical for Svaneti at the fault line between modernity and tradition. These lines of conflict do not only run between ideas of masculinity and femininity, as the film might suggest to the audience. Behind it lie much more complex social and economic problems […]

#architecture

Svaneti Series | Towers, mountains, sickles and hammers – different perspectives on the question of what is part of the cultural heritage of a community.

Ushguli is a village community located in the Upper Svaneti region in the north of Georgia. Since its attainment of UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996 and the establishment of secure state structures and systems around 2010, Ushguli has been seeing an incremental rise in tourism; thus far, it has found itself relatively unprepared for […]

Der Blick auf ein Bergdorf in Oberswanetien zeigt die für diese Siedlungen typische Struktur: einen Wehrturm und einzelne Machubis als Beispiele mittelalterlicher Architektur, und die Erweiterungen alter Gebäude durch Balkonvorbauten aus der Sowjetzeit.

Svaneti Series | The Mountain Villages of Upper Svaneti in Georgia | An Overview

The article series „Svaneti Series“ (distributed via Twitter @doinggeography) provides insights and analyses of the histoircal region of Svaneti in Georgia social life from a geographical viewpoint. This means that all articles examine the social space and the practices taking place within it. This includes both the built space and the non-built space and all […]

Svaneti Series | Traditional customs & habits – The Svan house and the role of the man

The article series „Svaneti Series“ (distributed via Twitter @doinggeography) provides insights and analyses of the histoircal region of Svaneti in Georgia social life from a geographical viewpoint. This means that all articles examine the social space and the practices taking place within it. This includes both the built space and the non-built space and all […]

#pre-Soviet history

An overview on “Fragments from Svaneti” (1903) by Wilhelm Rickmer-Rickmers (I).

Part I: Introduction | Rickmer-Rickmers as guest in Svaneti with Prince Dadeschkeliani Svaneti has been a destination for European hikers and mountaineers since the end of the 19th century. The early travellers had ethnological-geographical, but often also political-military interests. Knowledge of strategically essential areas was always interesting for their countries of origin. For the German […]

„Fragments from Svaneti“ (1903) (Part II). By Wilhelm Rickmer-Rickmers

Part II: Architecture: Rickmer-Rickmer’s observations on house building and the fortified character of the villages House and home. Even the view of a village shows the desire to close oneself off to the outside. In every house, you can see how the inhabitants were always anxious to have everything in a war-like state. Every possible […]

Holzlieferung in Ushguli | Swanetien | Ein Stamm wird geschnitten | Stefan Applis

„Fragments from Svaneti“ (1903) (Part III). By Wilhelm Rickmer-Rickmers

Part III: Handicrafts and everyday objects: Rickmer-Rickmers explanations about things of daily use Equipment, industry. Many tools, especially those with sharp blades, are imported from Russia. Above the fire hangs an iron frame that carries the large slate. The hooks for the cooking utensils hang down from the roof on long chains. The slaughtering takes […]

„Fragments from Svaneti“ (1903) (Part IV). By Wilhelm Rickmer-Rickmers

Part IV: Rickmer-Rickmers observations on agriculture and animal husbandry Agriculture, forest, hunting, fishing. Harvesting is done with a sickle, so the stubble is quite long. Only after a careful harvest of the corn, the Svans drive the cattle to the fields. They pile the grain around stakes that are about as high as a man’s […]

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