Sitschume

 

Sitschume is the georgian word for silence. It descibes the setting on the georgian countryside, especially in the mountaineous areas at the russian border. Through geographical reasons, the country was always affected by russian politics. Since the two civil-wars in the now autonomous regions of Abchasia and South-Ossetia, the villages at the russian-border became more and more abandoned. Only 3,7 million Georgians stayed in their country since the fall of soviet-union and the independence in 1991, when 5,4 million used to inhabit the country. Mainly affected of this emigration are the small villages, where almost everyone is engaged in the agriculture. In a state of underdevelopment, a high rate of unemployment, the bad possibilities of education and a poor infrastructure are reasons, why mostly young people leave their families towards the big cities like Tbilisi and abroad to America and the European Union. Nowadays, more then 200 villages are abandoned, over 150 villages have less then five inhabitants. In my work, I photographed along the russian border and visited the villages that are empty or where only few inhabitants are left. The pictures show the everyday-life as well as the people and places I found on my journey.