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South Caucasus


Temuri Kiguradze
Temuri Kiguradze
the South Caucasus film festival guest in Yerevan
5 months have already passed, and it won’t calm down it also seems that the process of reinstating the full picture of the august war is going to continue for an endlessly long time: articles and diaries are coming into light, films are being made, books are being published. During seminars and conferences, even around a cup of coffee different hypothesizes are being introduced, and every word, every testament that has been said, be it true or not, becomes a fundamental element for many different mosaic versions of what happened. Can it serve for anything else other than propaganda?

There is always a purpose to sort out what happened. Who and how is sorting it out, that’s a different story. As I am fully convinced, using August for purposes of propaganda is simply a crime. It’s enough that people’s lives were taken or ruined and it still remains a mystery as to why. I believe that in today’s conditions an independent and honest investigation of the war is doomed to failure. Neither side will allow full and unprejudiced access to information and immediate witnesses. That’s why it’s only left to talk about it over a cup of coffee. But it doesn’t matter even those kind of conversations are needed, people must remember that it happened, they must remember that it’s just necessary to sort things out, WHY did all this happen, and WHAT to do so it never happens again. Perhaps it sounds too utopian, but I personally believe that moment will sooner or later happen...

As far as I know, you wrote about August. Has a book been published, if not, then why and when is it being planned for?

The book was written by Orhan Jamal, he is a journalist at the Russian Newsweek publication. I met him when I was in Tskhinvali. He contacted me after the war and asked me to participate in this project. The idea was that the book was supposed to be written from the point of view of Russian (Jamal) and Georgian (Me) journalists – direct witnesses of the conflict with a small pretention on equity. As far as I know after a continuous hold back, the book eventually was introduced in December of the last year. But for some reasons that depended on me and some that didn’t, my participation was limited to one chapter. Orhan and I both are still hoping that a little later possibly it will be republished with a full version of my story, as for right now I am working on the Georgian version of the book, which possibly will appear in Tbilisi toward springtime.

After the festival in Yerevan you remained to participate in a rock concert of your friends from Georgia. I don’t think that Georgian and Armenian musicians were talking about problems of the Georgian language in Javakheti or the arguable churches… their communication was probably professional and humane… Both on the festival and the rock party there was both Armenian and Georgian youth. What was the difference in the communication in both of these spheres?

It differed of course, but not by a large margin, as I expected. I don’t have a choice to admit with remorse, from my observation, that the nationalistic moods among the youth in Armenia are higher then in any other country of Sub-Caucasus. Of course guys from informal subcultures are a lot more open about it than “ordinary” Armenian youth, you can discuss controversial issues of sound mind and even joke about problems – and this ability of joking about problems – is the most important factor that highlights community’s “Healthiness”. I will bring you an example – I was talking with a guy, a guitarist from a popular Armenian rock band, of whom I knew in Tbilisi. Well, he used to play very heavy music with lyrics of practically open rightist orientation. Now he plays happy and good-hearted rhythms about joy and peace for all. To my surprised question, how this change occurred, the guy answered the following meaning his nationalistic past: “ I smoked some , and realized that it’s all bull”. I don’t call to the distribution of light narcotics whatsoever, but I consider, that smoking a little grass is a lot less dangerous then “sitting” under a heavy dose of never-ending nationalistic propaganda. One more thing – not too far from the Republic Square I noticed graffiti on walls. The writings and the symbols characterized the Antifa movement (An international youth subculture, whose ideology is directed to fight neo-fascism). Here is something to have deep thoughts about – If there is Anti – Fa, which means there is also Fa, and that’s when it’s time to sound the alarm.

What do you think, can projects within the sphere of arts be something more then constatation “good will and commitment to peace”. What is the general peacemaking meaning of people’s meetings, who in advance, have to be free of blind enmity and stereotypes?

Projects, which will introduce people from different countries to each other, will allow them to talk, or even better to sing – about controversial issues, are as necessary as air, especially in a region like ours. It will allow the youth to understand, that its not really important what letter your last name ends with, what’s important is that there are a lot more thing that unite us, then those things that are suppose to make us hate one another. We are a new generation we ‘re not obligated to ruin our life because of the mistakes our predecessors made.

Made by Luiza Poghosyan
Yerevan - Tbilisi