Thursday, September 21, 2000
The idea had been gestating in Dov's brain for some time. Two weeks in
Nagorno-Karabakh in 1998 and a whirlwind visit to Transdniestria shortly
before had spawned stories of people living in states with names, flags,
currencies and governments of their own but without recognition. States that
had been imagined, were being built, but lived outside the law. For the
better part of a decade they had existed as such, and they could no longer be
dismissed as accidental and temporary even though no permanent settlements
were at hand.
There was also the idea of a collaboration - combining the impressions and
understandings of a scholar and a photographer. Traveling together through
the same places, but with different methods, each informing the other.
And so, in July and August 2000, Dov and I went on a journey through three
breakaway de facto states in the former Soviet Union - Transdniestria,
Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh - asking ourselves, "What is a state? Lines on
a map, or the will and identity of a people? An act of imagination, the
consequence of a series of actions, or acceptance by other states?"
In each breakaway state we met with government officials, builders of civil
society, workers and youths. We traveled with relief organizations, walked
through cities and country sides, each day seeking to understand and record
the state of life in these small places caught in limbo between the national
independence they fought for and the post-war isolation they find themselves
Along the way, we kept a journal - notes from the road in Transdniestria,
Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
posted by Eric Baudelaire at 5:22 PM
About the project: Imagining
the State is a collaboration between Dr. Dov Lynch
of Kings College, London, and Photographer Eric
Baudelaire. In the fall 2000, photographs from the journey
and articles, analysis and interviews will be added to
this site. Maps and design by
John Dutton. The site's travel journals were powered by Blogger.
Copyright 2000 Documentaire.com