In late 2003, Georgia’s “Rose revolution” bought the promise of an open, free and democratic future.
Since this time the Government has faced a number of hostilities from it’s giant neighbour Russia. This has included military and economic support for the breakaway Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the banning of Georgian produce from the Russia market, a hike in gas prices, erratic delivery of energy supplies during winters, a transport and economic blockade from October 2006, and a harsh crackdown and expulsion of Georgians in Russia.
This culminated in the war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008.
A major geopolitical battle is still being fought out in Ukraine and Georgia, in their nascent stages of independence and nation-building and as they try to free themselves from Russian influence. Russia sees both countries as part of its sphere of influence, and as such acts like an imperial power towards its smaller neighbours. In the Shadow of the Bear will explore life after the Rose Revolution of 2003 in Georgia, and the 2004 Ukrainian Orange Revolution. The work looks, in subtle and quiet moments, at the signs in the domestic and public spheres, which when taken together, build up a representation of how ordinary people in Georgia and Ukraine negotiate the everyday space that they find themselves in. I am looking at each country individually, with their own very different dynamics and characteristics, but also the aspects that are familiar between the two through their shared history in the Soviet Union.
With In the shadow of the bear George won the Project Assistance Award of the British Journal of Photography.