Caucasus Xpedition

The Caucasus Xpedition visited the south eastern corner of Europe. We set off from Hopa in Turkey, a secular Muslim country, travelled through Georgia, a secular orthodox Christian country, and then crossed the border (with a little difficulty) to Azerbaijan which has similarities to Turkey both in religion and language. Azerbaijan and Georgia share the inheritance of being post Soviet countries. The traces of Soviet culture are interfaced with new realities of independent countries, developing their own interesting mixture of East and West.

Both nations are rich with cultural and demographic diversity, and the enclaves, autonomous regions and break-away republics such Abkhazia and South Ossetia within and outside their borders underline the ethnic, religious, cultural and political complexities of the South Caucasus region. We met with refugees from the conflict in Abkhazia in Georgia who live in a massive hot spring spa complex in Tskaltubo, once built for both Soviet’s workers and political elite.

Artists and independent cultural organisations were our cicerones. They guided us through the cultural landscape, as we visited both the capitals, Tbilisi (Georgia) and Baku (Azerbaijan), and a number of smaller regional towns and villages like Hopa (Turkey), Tskaltubo and Telavi (Georgia), Sheki, Agsu and Ciyni (Azerbaijan).

The Turkish border town of Hopa was visited during September 2010 by Intercult’s Black/North SEAS project during the SEAS Xpedition (SEAS X). The SEAS X event on the northern coast of Turkey and in Batumi are the prototype for the CORNERS R&D project.

The Caucasus Xpedition was supported by the Swedish Institute; The Arts Council of Northern Ireland; The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport Adjara; and the Ministry of Culture Azerbaijan.

Xpedition Route:

1. Hopa

Starting point of Caucasus Xpedition.

2. Batumi

3. Tskaltubo

4. Chiatura

5. Tbilisi

6. Telavi

7. Sheki

8. Agsu

Artists that participated on Caucasus Xpedition:

Latest News:

Corners published “Hide or Reveal”, a booklet by Helena Wikström and Una Bauer

In October 2011 Helena Wikström and Una Bauer met at the Xpedition Caucasus, and in April 2012 they again travelled together at Xpedition Balkan, visiting countries of ex Yugoslavia and Albania. Beside meeting new landscapes, the sole experience of two-week-long travelling and constant changing of locations was an inspiration to Helena and Una for a publication “Hide or Reveal”. Photo series documents travelling companions, landscapes and moments spent in movement, while the text illustrates subjective feeling of travelling and questions what is hidden to us as travellers and strangers in some place, and what is inevitably reviled.

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