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The Forgotten Caucasus

Daro Sulakauri

My country's history follows a lengthy timeline of continual struggle and the fight for freedom and independence. Georgia is a little country that has survived many wars throughout the centuries. The Soviet Union left a giant scar, but it could not demolish our identity.  

Growing up in the 90's, I witnessed the fall of Soviet Union. I remember the sudden silence that took place around the city. Looking out from a car window, I could see buildings covered in bullet holes. The economy had fallen apart. We had no electricity, heat, or water. As time passed, I said goodbye to my country. My family moved to United States in 1994. I returned in 1997.

My work explores the many components that make up daily life in a region known as the Caucasus. I have tried to raise awareness focusing on everything from the political chaos in Tbilisi; the lives of the people living in the Caucasus mountains; refugees who have escaped the deadly war in Chechnya; early marriage for girls and many other social issues and conditions that shape everyday life in the region.

For me, photography is one of the most powerful tools to raise awareness. It can show a society’s the real problems the need for resolution. I believe photography can lead to a dialogue that can lead change.