©Justyna Mielnikiewicz

Justyna Mielnikiewicz

The Meaning of a Nation - Russia and its Neighbours: Georgia and Ukraine

December 26, 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union, when fifteen Soviet republics became independent countries.

Since 1991, post-Soviet political elites in each of these countries have been engaged in nation and state building. Some countries remained within Russia’s sphere of influence, while others like Georgia and Ukraine have tried to break away to become part of Western Europe. They both paid a heavy price for their choice with a war in Georgia in 2008 and one in Ukraine in 2014.

Justyna Mielnikiewicz’s work presents an in-depth look at these countries. It explores borders as ever-changing spheres of influence that overlap physical borders marked on the map. It documents life on the European frontier and delves into symbolic meanings and reconstructed historical narratives of these borderlands, which contribute to forming national identity and shaping the images of the neighboring countries.

Justyna Mielnikiewicz (1973, Marklowice, Poland) is based in Tbilisi, Georgia, since 2002.

The main focus of her work are the countries of the former Soviet Union but she also worked in Mexico, Iran and Turkey. Her works have been published in various international publications and awarded in various international competitions.

©Justyna Mielnikiewicz

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