WiP:  “Why Cross the Conflict Divide? The Success and Failure of Abkhazian de facto Statehood”

By Andrea Peinhopf, University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Date: March 6, 2019, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Why do some Abkhazians cross to the other side of conflict divide, and how do they experience the encounter with their official ‘enemy’? While observers often stress the lack of engagement between the two conflict parties since the war in 1992-1993, recent years have witnessed an increase in informal cross-border movement. Based on detailed ethnographic data, this presentation explores the motivation and experience of Abkhazians who decided to travel beyond the Ingur/Enguri. What does it tell us about the effectiveness of Abkhazian statehood and the possibility of Georgian-Abkhaz reconciliation?

Andrea Peinhopf is a PhD Candidate in Politics & Anthropology at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. Her research focuses on how ordinary people experience protracted conflict and, in particular, how they reproduce, accommodate or resist the language of nationalism. For her thesis, she spent several months in Abkhazia. She is currently a visiting researcher at Ilia State University.

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the CRRC office at 5 Chkhikvadze Str. 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. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.