Vanessa Boas

Abkhazia border

My heart races as I cross the border: a step into the unknown.
What does an unrecognized state look like and how does it function?

The flirty border guards do not make me feel at ease.
I bite my nails nervously as I await permission from the capital to pass.
It seems my endless emails have not assured my entry.

Potholes forcefully impose themselves as pauses in my conversation with the taxi driver.
Tales of suffering, of resentment, optimism and pride are told in foreign tongues.
Time stands still.

Nationalism burns brightly in the Caucasus’ heart and manifests itself in the form of blind passion.

Neighbours turn into enemies.
The other is stripped of his face.
Objectivity is trampled on in the mud.

And what about you Abkhazia?
What will your justice be?

It is undoubtedly tempting to close one’s eyes and hide behind the treacherous banner of nationalism.

And how could I blame you,
when it is your neighbours who taught you.

Vanessa Boas
Marie Curie Researcher at the University of Cologne. GERMANY

The Stalin-Beria Terror in Abkhazia, 1936-1953