03 September 2006

Eistein connects the Caucasus dots

The last year saw a culmulation of medial interest in the Caucasus. A great part of that had been transported via various bloggers, journalists, photographers, writers and artists. Now, Eistein from Norway aka Writer'n tries to connect different ties on his marvellous blog on Georgia, gives other Bloggers a platform to create a sort of loose Caucasus-related web. Thank you Eistein for your activity and for your love to the Caucasus. Lets work together and now, the word is yours:

My nickname is Writer’n. I am the manager of Guldseth & Partners (http://www.gpe.no), a company specializing in strategic business communications. I also study sociology and mediascience at the University (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.

I still remember that day on the news when Sjevardnadze went down the stairs from the plane in Tbilisi airport early in the 90ties. Chevvy was a well known figure to all of us from the west, but my first thought was: Where and what the f*** is Georgia? So I just forgot about it, thinking that Chevvy finally had ended up in some remote area where he could do no harm. Anyway, a woman I met in Munich destroyed all my western ignorance, and took me to Georgia. I was in for a cultural shock and an incredible treat. And I discovered more: Tbilisi had been harbouring some famous Norwegians! Dagny Juel, a close friend of the painter Edvard Munch (Skrik & Madonna) was killed by her jealous lover and buried in Tbilisi in the early 1900. The Nobelprice awarded Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun lived at the old Hotel London (close to where Dagny Juel met her fate) while he traveled through Caucasus, finding himself, as the gigantic mountains and culture of the Caucasus reminded him of his childhood years in the northern parts of Norway. His novel I Æventyrland is largely about this adventurous journey. His later works are also greatly inspired from his time spent in Caucasus region.

So I asked myself: Why did his stay in the region has so strong impact on his later writings? What inspired him so much? The only way of knowing, is to search in his footsteps and try to find the secret formula. But his writings about Tbilisi and Georgia has been subject to critisism, claiming that he only got some superficial glimpses of the Caucasian culture. Maybe, or maybe not. Is there such a big a difference between Norwegian and Georgian culture?

Yes and no. My goal is to try to explore the differences and the similarities, and maybe entertain you at my website and integrated blog (http://www.writern.no). This website is a "popularized" part of an ongoing sociological study wich I started in 2004, without knowing it in fact. Looking at the material I had collected when I returned to Norway, it was clear that this could be the basis of something more than just some pictures and stories. So when I returned to Tbilisi in 2006 my schedule was more structured and closer to a systematic qualitative research for a future analysis. The website has the shape of a reportage, so not to worry. You will find stories, interviews and some smalltalk together with image galleries from both Norway and Georgia.



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