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Waiting Since 18 Years For …?

(2011)

Tskhaltubo, a former Soviet spa resort, is now turned into a shelter for internally displaced people (IDP) from the short but intense Georgian-Abkhaz wars (1992–93 & 1998). The conflicts resulted in numerous war crimes, massacres and ethnic cleansing, forcing around 250 000 ethnic Georgians to flee Abkhazia. Some 7000* IDP have been living here since 18 years in poor, cramped and unsanitary conditions, waiting for another future, seemingly forgotten by the rest of the world. Tskhaltubo’s dilapidating buildings used to be the Soviet holiday paradise, now they are haunted by the ghosts of the past and the broken hopes of the present.

The images were taken in 2011 during a photo project in collaboration with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).

*This number has decreased to 800, due to efforts to resettle IDPs in proper homes. Photo project from 2018 by Ryan Koopman: Sanatorium