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The Anonymous Republic of Abkhazia
Through a poetic sense of light and color, I find an attraction to the atrocities brought on by Mother Nature and mankind. The contrasting beauty between the savagery of ruin and rebirth of destroyed lives creates a romantic idea of what once was there, conveying a different feeling for each person that witnesses the images. The loneliness and solitude is what drove me to document the apocalyptic scenes of Abkhazia, its people, and how they continue to suffer from the effects of war 15 years later.
The Images take us on a sinister, eerie tour of a country whose only existence centers around their military and patriotism. Alone and stagnant, Abkhazia struggles with the meaning of war and self-declared independence, clutching the ankles of Russia for support while shadowing themselves from the economic and social embargoes imposed on them from Georgia and the rest of the world.
The countries decaying skeleton is a physical manifestation to the pain and misery suffered by the Abkhaz people and their struggles to free themselves from the iron grip of a war long gone with Georgia. Abkhazia remains desolate and wounded, a dilapidated corpse left for dead. Only the internal sense of pride and joy can be seen through the military, their beacon of light and pride. Once the Riviera of the Caucus region, Abkhazia now caters to budget conscious Russians while struggling with their own sense of independence, crawling back to Mother Russia and into her womb in search of comfort and security, unable to recover from the economic disasters of a war long past.
Jason Andrew was born and raised on the coast of California where he spent his early years surfing and snowboarding while exploring the small coastal villages of Baja California. Upon graduating with a Bachelors Degree in History from San Diego State University, he began photographing for a small music label while teaching elementary school.
He later moved to NYC where he graduated from the 2006/07 Documentary Photography and Photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography where he interned with VII photographer James Nachtwey.
In 2008, he attended the Eddie Adams Workshop and his Jazzland series about an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans was selected for American Photography 24. In 2009, he was named a Magenta Emerging Photographer and is currently among the “Emerging Talents” of Reportage by Getty Images.
His clients and publications include AOL, Courrier International, Le Monde 2, National Geographic Books, New York Magazine, Transworld Surf and Ventiquattro.
Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..
Many thanks… david alan harvey