Since March 2022 the Georgian National Committee of the Blue Shield has been implementing a new project “Protection of Intangible Heritage of Occupied Regions”.

The project was made possible by Cultural Emergency Response Program grant (CER).

The partners of the project are: Historical-Cultural Heritage Protection Center – a local NGO and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Cultural Heritage Center (PennCHC).

The project aims to preserve the intangible heritage of the internally displaced population from the Tskhinvali region. It is a pilot project and at the initial stage, it focuses on the population displaced from the village of Kekhvi. The main activities of the project are:

Activity 1: Preservation of intangible heritage elements through collection and documentation of resources

Part of this activity will help create documentation of intangible heritage elements of one selected village that does not exist anymore – village Kekhvi located in the Didi Liakhvi River Valley in the occupied Tskhinvali Region.

The project team will design and implement a survey of IDP community needs and priorities for cultural heritage preservation and conduct in-depth interviews with approximately 50 persons from one village, Kekhvi. Collected data will be uploaded to an online database and an anthropological report will be prepared based on their stories. 

Activity 2: Creating Communities for the Cultural Heritage of the Tskhinvali Region. 

This Activity aims to strengthen a communal sense of shared cultural heritage through group identity work. Intended for families of all ages, it will provide a space where IDP youth and adults can reflect on the role of heritage in shaping their personal history and identity. 

It is envisioned to host about three focus group meetings with the IDP families at the Didi Liakhvi Valley Museum-Reserve (DLVMR) which is located in one of the IDP settlements in Gori and largely serves as a community center for the IDPs living in Gori. 

Activity 3: Research and dissemination of collected data

This Activity encompasses analyses of the collected information during the door-to-door interviews and community meetings’ findings and using it in creating a draft for an educational program at the DLVMR. Upon completion of the survey, 2-3 intangible heritage bearers or storytellers will be identified for video documentation and the material will be turned into three short films.

Towards the end of the project, the team will analyze all the findings and the methodology of the entire project and reflect them in an academic article in the Georgian and English languages. GNCBS website and DLVMS social media pages will feature separate stories and events along the project implementation, as well as disseminate project outcomes, such as videos, articles, and research findings.

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