Transcaucasia is a geographical area that includes Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In the past it has been also a political entity during the ephemeral Federal Democratic Republic of Transcaucasia (February-May 1918) and the Soviet Federative Socialist Republic of Transcaucasia (1922-1936).
After having been under the influence of Persian, Ottoman and Russian empires; the modern history of Transcaucasia is marked by the Soviet yoke imposed throughout the twentieth century. This period ended with bloody wars of independence that saw the birth of three recognized States (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), three unrecognized States (Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh) and a lot of autonomous claims.
From Batumi to Tbilisi, if you don't take the main road but use a track closer to the Turkish and Armenian borders, you can meet a sample of the diversity of Georgian population which reflects the history of the region: Greeks, Doukhobors, Armenians, Germans, Meshketians, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Yezidis, Azeris, Ossets, etc
Hovhannes Land: Nagorno-Karabagh
We met Hovhannes during our first trip in Nagorno-Karabagh. He was living in Chouchi. He was an Armenian from Iran. He traveled a lot and earned money. He lost everything when he decided to settle in Nagorno-Karabagh, a sacred land for him. A land where his grand-parents were burried, somewhere close to an old caravanserail. His family never wanted to stay there, in such hard conditions so he lived alone. He was writing some poetry for his grand son. He was a patriot, a word i hated and still hate, but a word i started to understand in Caucasus. When we came back in Karabagh in 2016 we asked some news about him: "He died alone a few months ago, 3 persons came to his funeral" answered Armen.
Considered as the pearl of the Black Sea, Abkhazia is a small haven that has not often been at peace. Source of lusts through the centuries, this unrecognized State, officially part of Georgia, lost in the of Caucasus limbo is now developing with the help of the invasive Russia. Twenty kilometers from Sochi, the "Russian Riviera" will continue to divide and to make people dream.
Lichk has lost its men
In the streets of Lichk, an Armenian village, one meet mothers, daughters, sisters. But almost no men. To escape poverty, 90% of them exile themselves in Russia during eight or nine months, in search of work. Here, they are farmers, workers, drivers but also bankers, students, school directors, musical directors. There they work as builders, leaving Lichk's women carrying out alone the tough lives of family, between loneliness and waiting.