“Belonging to nowhere” – Abkhazia region captured by French photographer
03 May, 2017
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French architectural photographer Aurélien Villette has been traveling to different countries for years in order to document how architecture manifests cultural change. When voyaging to  Abkhazia, Georgia's breakaway region, he captured once great abandoned buildings that belong to the forgotten conflict area.

The United Nations and Georgia consider the region part of Georgia, while Russia and a few other countries recognize it as independent. This makes Abkahzia, which was an unrecognized state for most of its existence, one of several post-Soviet frozen conflict zones.

“This abandoned monumental architecture becomes almost unreal or imaginary, like something out of a storybook, as it enters a state of decay,” - Villette says.

“The quick movement from one piece of the region’s history to another illustrates the jarring series of upheavals that Abkhazia has experienced in the last 100 years.These structures speak; they tell a story based on approximations, propaganda, souvenirs, and stories that are passed from person to person,” - The photographer explains.

"My work as a photographer gives me the opportunity to travel into numerous countries on different continents and allows me a better understanding of architecture and the geopolitical and cultural influence on the architecture. I integrated in my publications the concept of “spirit of the place”, serving as concept of architecture and urbanism", - Author of the images says.

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Coffee shop, Pitsunda, Abkhazia
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Georgian parliament, Sokhumi, capital of Abkhazia
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Gate City, Sokhumi
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Theater, Gagra
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View of ghost town in
the Tkvarcheli valley, Abkhazia

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Railway Station hall, Sokhumi
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Old rotunda in a restaurant on the top of Sokhumi mountain. Sokhumi is a city on the coast of the Black Sea. It is the capital of  Abkhazia

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Refectory Pioneer‘s camp

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Little culture house close to an old Soviet ferris wheel and other Soviet facilities

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Tearful photos shot 23 years ago – Families fleeing Abkhazia


Abkhazia’s latest images - Abandoned buildings and surreal nature
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