WiP: Mobility and Boundaries in Southeast Georgia

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are pleased to announce the 8th talk of the Spring 2023 Tbilisi Works-in-Progress series!

This week’s talk is co-organized in coordination with the Institute for Social and Cultural Research at Ilia State University

The talk will take place in hybrid format in-person at CRRC Georgia and online through Zoom: 


“Settled in Translocality: Dimensions of Mobility and Boundary Determination among Azerbaijanis in Southeast Georgia”

By Klaudia Kosicińska, Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences,

Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 18:30 Tbilisi time (10:30 am EDT)

Migration usually requires adjustment to a new socio-cultural space. But what is happening when crossing the border does not entail such a tangible experience, and the area beyond the border seems to be an extension of the one left? How do we get closer to understanding people’s social world when a trip from Georgia to Azerbaijan is not treated as a “trip abroad”? And how has the COVID-19 pandemic changed perceived borders, challenging practices of belonging? These themes are the focus of Klaudia’s research, in which she analyses the phenomenon of mobility, translocal practices and how it is related to the identity in the Azerbaijani villages located in southeast Georgia.

In her research, Klaudia focuses on the experiences of Azerbaijanis, a minority in Georgia but in the same time a majority in the district of Marneuli, where she did her fieldwork research. However, the number of Azerbaijanis in Georgia has been regularly decreasing since the collapse of the USSR – from 284,761 in 2002 to 233,082 in 2014. The results of this fieldwork shows that statistics, while only presenting data on migration and population decline, do not make it possible to see the regular mobility and translocal links between Azerbaijanis in Georgia and Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan, which the researcher found important to research on.

Klaudia Kosicińska is a PhD student at the Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, and an anthropologist based in Tbilisi. She studied Eastern studies with a specialisation in Caucasus studies at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology and socio-cultural animation at the University of Warsaw. She also studied at the Tbilisi State University and Yeditepe University in Istanbul. She started her research in Marneuli in 2018, which currently she is conducting as part of the grant “Everyday life between borders. Mobility, translocal practices and neighbourhood in south-eastern Georgia” (2022-2024, NCN Preludium). She worked a contractor in the project “Azerbaijanis and Armenians in Georgia: Uncertain Peace and Conflict Mobility in the Context of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War” (2021-2023, NAWA Urgency Grants) in cooperation with Tbilisi State University. She is a member of the NGO Kaukaz.net and co-organiser of the Georgian Film Festival Gamardżoba kino in Warsaw.

Works-in-Progress is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place office of CRRC at Liziko Kavtaradze St. 1 and online. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.
In observation of the spirit of the Chatham House Rule, the talks will not be recorded, and we courteously request that the other participants refrain from recording and/or distributing recordings as well. The opinions expressed in WiP talks are those of the speakers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CRRC, ARISC or of American Councils.