Tamar Svanidze is a freelance journalist mostly covering political and social developments in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. She has experience in the field of elections, human rights and post-conflict development. She is experienced in assisting media crew in different projects.
National minorities who live in towns and villages across Georgia usually have a common problem - poor knowledge or lack of knowledge of the state language. This forces them to be in an ‘information vacuum’, where they are cut off from social and political life of Georgia and consequentially, have a weak interest in the elections.
Pankisi Gorge is located at the very eastern end of the Kakheti region, on the border between Georgia and Russia. It is about 60 kilometers east of the border with Chechnya. After the military confrontation between Russia and Chechnya in the 1990’s, hundreds of Chechen refugees were resettled in Pankisi Gorge with the Kists. How the Pankisi young people see their role in the development of the Georgian state often reflects their attitudes towards elections.