Early Winter in Ergneti


In autumn 2011 I began to work on my long-term photo project about refugees and internally displaced people in the South Caucasus, working closely with the Norwegian and Danish Refugee Councils. During my work, I also visited the Georgian side of the buffer zone to South Ossetia. In 2008 a conflict had erupted between Georgia and Russia over the break-away region of South Ossetia.
When I arrived in Ergneti, the war had been over for more than three years, but there were still traces of it everywhere – not only on the houses and infrastructure, but also in the minds of the people living here. One scene struck me in particular: a lonely, elderly woman walks down a muddy street as winter arrives in Ergneti, a town almost completely destroyed during the war. The losers of this political power game are t he people living on either side of the buffer zone – people who lost wives, husbands, sons or daughters, who lost their homes and livelihoods amidst the shelling, burning and bombing of villages.
(Published in Leica Fotographie International - One Photo, One Story)