A music festival in Georgia strives to evoke a time when the nations of the Caucasus lived in harmony.
Volunteers work for three weeks prior to the music festival – called One Caucasus and held in the isolated Georgian village of Tserakvi at the end of August – to construct the festival site and conduct cultural and educational workshops for children in nearby multi-ethnic villages. Witek Hebanowski, the Polish Director of One Caucasus, says 240 applications were received, from which 33 volunteers were selected.
While not intended as a peace-building project, the One Caucasus festival strives to foster an environment that enables communication and cooperation. “One Caucasus is a kind of a space, a place, where young people from all over the Caucasus can meet and enjoy time together […] and work together,” Hebanowski said.
“We should … create a perspective and vision for young people to get back the spirit [of the region] that was [there] years ago,” he added.
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Onnik James Krikorian is a freelance journalist, photographer, and media consultant based in Tbilisi, Georgia. He particularly focuses on conflict-related issues in the region and, in recent years, on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) globally. He can be followed on Twitter at @onewmphoto.