Analysis, book reviews and photography from Abkhazia and the wider Caucasus --- updates when time permits

Book review: Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus by Georgi M. Derluguian

bourdieu's secret admirer in the caucasus - coverBourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus — A World-System Biography

Georgi M. Derluguian

The University of Chicago Press, Chicago
July 2005
416 pages
ISBN: 978-0-226-14282-1

A description of Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus must begin with an explanation of its somewhat unpractical, yet intriguing title. The admirer in question is …

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Abkhazian opposition once again speaks out against issuing passports to Georgian residents

The issuing of Abkhazian passports to Georgian residents in the Gali District remains controversial. The Georgian government considers the passports illegal anyway, but it has in the past in particular condemned the alleged forcing of passport onto Georgians. Ironically, the Abkhazian opposition thinks Georgians are being given passports too easily …

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Photography: Cave of Simon the Zealot

According to some accounts, in his later life the apostle Simon preached and was martyred on the northern Black Sea coast. Local tradition maintains that he lived in a cave near Psyrtskha — which in the 19th Century inspired the building of the New Athos Monastery. The cave itself now contains …

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Venezuela and Russia and flawed democracy

Following Tolstoy we may say that all happy democracies are alike. And probably, so are all totalitarian dictatorships. But all flawed democracies are flawed in their own way, as the Venezuelan Presidential election of last weekend demonstrates.

According to the official result, the election — following the death of Hugo Chávez …

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A noteworthy session of Parliament

Last Wednesday's session of the People's Assembly of Abkhazia (ApsnyPress, Vitali Sharia/Ekho Kavkaza) featured three interesting details.

First, the session was held in Abkhaz, with interpretation provided for those present with only a command of Russian, even though Deputies switched back to Russian during some of the more critical …

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Banned in Russia

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New developments in Vanuatu

After a relatively uneventful period, three recent events in Vanuatu are relevant for relations with Abkhazia.

First, on 18 March Radio New Zealand International reported that Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot had over the weekend declared in a Radio Vanuatu interview that Vanuatu wanted to establish diplomatic relations with Georgia. And …

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Book review: Eight Pieces of Empire by Lawrence Scott Sheets

eight pieces of empire - coverEight Pieces of Empire — A 20-Year Journey through the Soviet Collapse

Lawrence Scott Sheets

Crown Publishers, New York
November 2011
336 pages
ISBN: 978-0-307-39582-5

The publication of Eight Pieces of Empire is good news, because Lawrence Scott Sheets — currently South Caucasus project director for the International Crisis Group — is one …

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Photography: Bridge of Peace, Tbilisi

At daytime, the Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi (built in 2010 after a design by Michele De Lucchi) just doesn't work for me, its turquoise modernity too glaringly out-of-place in the old city centre.

At night, however, the bridge lights up and becomes very photogenic, especially in black-and-white.


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Photography: railway stations in Abkhazia

Despite the fact that trains are once again running from Sukhum to Adler, Sochi and Moscow, many railway stations remain abandoned and/or in disrepair and it is possible to walk along the single track.

The slideshow below shows a selection of stations, between Psou at the Russian border and …

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