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Stories of the South Caucasus. Special Edition

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Publisher’s Note

Since 2014 the Heinrich Boell Foundation Tbilisi Office - South Caucasus Region has been cooperating with independent online media platform Netgazeti within the framework of the project “Stories of the South Caucasus”. The project aims to inform Georgian speaking audience about ongoing developments in the South Caucasus region through publishing news, analytical articles, interviews, multimedia stories and opinions. The project provides updated information about latest developments in the conflict regions of the South Caucasus and remains as an important online platform for public dialogue.

The Heinrich Boell Foundation Tbilisi Office has been working on conflict transformation from the beginning of its activities in the region since 2003. Throughout this period, together with representatives of civil society organizations, local and foreign experts and politicians, the Foundation has organized many public discussions and published analytical articles in order to discuss and analyze Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-South Ossetian relations, social-economic conditions of Internally Displaced Persons and other conflict related issues. At the same time, the Foundation has supported young professionals who are working on conflict transformation.

Today, taking into account the changing and increasingly tense geopolitical and regional context, working on conflict transformation in the South Caucasus has become more difficult. This situation threatens the existing possibilities for dialogue and further deepens the process of isolation between the conflict sides.  Quite often, this isolation is accompanied by the lack of information which opens opportunities for propaganda and false information. The idea behind the project “Stories of the South Caucasus” was to open a window against isolation and give the Georgian-speaking audience access to ongoing developments in the context of the conflicts. We think that people who regularly read news, analytical articles and interviews about conflict regions have more sensitivity and knowledge about this issue. They are more resilient against nationalism and propaganda.

In 2019, together with Netgazeti, we publish the special edition of “Stories of the South Caucasus” in order to give an opportunity to readers to understand better conflict dynamics since 2014. We think that this edition gives a great opportunity to look at conflicts from different angles and step back from the everyday headlines in order to better understand the trends. The edition focuses on Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-South Ossetian relations. Here, we would like to underline that the articles which are included in the edition might contain terminology that is used in de-facto republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The opinions that are expressed in the articles belong to the authors and might not express the positions of Heinrich Boell Foundation Tbilisi Office and Netgazeti.

The texts that are included in the edition are divided into several chapters: History, International Context, Everyday life and Politics, Chronicle, Trust and Peace Building. We hope that this edition will put forward the discussion on the conflicts and create new impulses among people who are working on conflict transformation and peace policy.

We would like to thank Netgazeti for long-term and successful cooperation and the authors for their contributions.

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