Laurent Roch | Here and Elsewhere

This is a series of interlaced stories that mirror the devastating civil war that struck Abkhazia and the aftermath of its geopolitical isolation. The stories of the people and their homeland that were alienated from each other yet remaining within one mutual world of seclusion. The project aims to uncover the meaning of deprivation within the context of the turmoil experienced by that republic.

A disputed region on the east coast of the Black Sea, Abkhazia was once a prosperous subtropical resort. However following the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the civil war resulting from Abkhazia’s secession from Georgia, the region’s tourism-based economy crumbled in the early 1990s. Abkhazia has won its independence but not its legitimacy as a republic. Every year people mark the anniversary of the self-proclaimed republic with a military parade, while their country still does not exist on world political maps. The Abkhazian passport is still invalid abroad. In the past 20 years, a new generation was born in the country that is still in a state of limbo. For two decades, the aftermath of war and isolation keep on inflicting both physical and moral scars on the residents. The government has embarked upon a policy to attract repatriates from Turkey, Syria and Russia, providing them with a free living quarters and welfare. All these measures are aimed at making the Abkhazian dream come true – to enlarge a small population and to preserve their ethnos along with their origins and roots.

Olga Ingurazova

Olga Ingurazova is a freelance documentary photographer and a journalist based in Moscow, Russia.

Olga is the 2015 IPA Mentorship Program Scholarship Grant winner and placed finalist in the 2014 Aftermath Project Grant and the 2014 Lucie Foundation Scholarship. She is also included in the 2015 shortlist of Magnum Photo’s "30 under 30" of emerging documentary photographers, and was listed as one of Photo Boîte’s 2015 "30 under 30 women photographers to watch".

At the center of her attention are the effects of political, social and environmental processes on peoples’ lives and on the land they inhabit.