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Terror Incognita

Daro Sulakauri | Pankisi Gorge, Georgia

GEORGIA. Pankisi Gorge, a Chechen refugee settlement. January. 2008. Kindergarten. A boy with green eyes, Omaar, 7 years old. Omaar's family was bombed during the Chechen war while he was just a baby. He was left with his grandmother, who survived the bombing.

The Pankisi Gorge region, a remote mountainous enclave in the far northeast corner of the Republic of Georgia.

Since December 1994, when war broke out between the Russian-backed central government in Grozny and a determined group of Chechen resistance fighters, Pankisi has witnessed an influx of refugees from Chechnya. Though not recognized or officially monitored by international agencies, Pankisi has become a refuge from state-sponsored terror for thousands of people who, ironically, are accused of waging terror at home. Chechens have a reputation for rugged individualism, even among the peoples of the Caucasus who – by any standards – are accustomed to rugged conditions and nurture a fierce sense of national pride and independence in light the imperialist tendencies of surrounding nations. By most estimates, approximately 5,000 Chechens escaped the deadly war in Chechnya by fleeing to Georgia's Pankisi Gorge.

I am freelance photographer, born in 1985 in Republic of Georgia. I have been Photographing since age 16. My early photographs reflect the economic and social issues in Georgia as well as political.

After graduating from ICP, School of international center of photography in NY, I started a project on Chechen refugees in Georgia. My project documented the plight of Chechen refugees on the territory of Georgia. I was connected with this project, for I too witnessed war in my country – particulary the civil war taking place in the early 1900’s.

You have to hurry up if you want to see something, everything disappears.




This work was done with the help of NRC, Norwegian Refugee Council, in Georgia.



Daro Sulakauri
Freelance Photographer





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