‘Life along the Line’ – Portraits from the ABL ...

 The short but bloody conflict between The Republic of Georgia – South Ossetia and Russia has left a lasting legacy to the impoverished people living in this part of the Southern Caucuses. The ABL in the title of this gallery refers to the ‘Administrative Boundary Line’ which is a demarcation line between Georgia and the self proclaimed state of South Ossetia. The line dividing line is enforced by South Ossetia with substantial aid from their Russian allies. The conflict has divided communities an families with some of the small villages physically divided by military razor wire and heavily armed patrols.

This situation does nothing to help an already poor rural population existing as they have for centuries on subsistence farming in the harsh environment at the foot of the Southern Caucus Mountains.

I spent three years as a monitor working with the EUMM (European Monitoring Mission in Georgia) based in Gori (the birthplace of Josef Stalin). During my daily patrols of the ABL I met and made friends with many of the villagers. Their hospitality and kindness never failed to move me and have many memories of my encounters despite the precarious working environment in this ‘Frozen Conflict’.

My ‘Life along the Line’ exhibition opened in the capital Tbilisi in October 2012 and toured Georgia in November. I have added more images to this on-line gallery which I dedicate to the wonderful people struggling to survive on the ABL.

Click here to view the gallery

 

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