Special Reward for Winners of Georgian History Competition
With an excursion to historic sites in their home country, the prize winners of the Georgian History Competition 2021/2022 received an uniquely tailored award. On 29 and 30 October 2022, twelve students along with three teachers from all over the country had the opportunity to visit Georgia’s capital Tbilisi and the historic city of Gori, the regional capital of Eastern Georgia’s Shida Kartli region.
The excursion marked the end of the latest Georgian history competition “30 Years Since the End of the Soviet Rule” and further introduced the participating students and teachers to various aspects about Georgia’s Soviet past and beyond. The unique curriculum commenced with a visit to the Museum of Soviet Occupation which exhibits materials depicting the Soviet era from 1921 to 1991 of the Caucasian country. The students were then encouraged to present each other their winning essays during a visit to the Soviet Past Research Laboratory (SovLab), one of the partner organisations of the competition. There, the participants not only met to discuss their works - facilitated by SovLab researcher Rusudan Kobakhidze - but also got the opportunity to take a look at the winning publications of previous Georgian history competitions and got acquainted with the host’s activities.
To round up the first day of the programme, SovLab director Irakli Khvadagiani presented the students and teachers with the city tour “Topography of Red Terror” and showed samples of Soviet architecture. During the trip through Tbilisi, they visited local sites related to Stalinism and learned more about the mass repression that the Soviet era is associated with.
The second day was opened with a visit to the Stalin Museum in the city of Gori where the former Soviet leader was born. To further deepen the students' knowledge about the Soviet past and the history of Georgia in general, the group explored the antique town Uplistsikhe – a cave town cut into rock 15 kilometres east of Gori. The town is considered an important cultural, religious, and political center from as early as the 4th century B.C. onward, which is on the tentative list to be considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The two-day excursion was organised exclusively for the Georgian competition participants, parallel to the History Camp in Yerevan, Armenia. Because of the sensitive situation in the region due to aggressions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Georgian delegation decided to wait for future events to attend again.
The Georgian history competition 2021/2022 was organised by GAHE (Georgian Association of History Educators), SovLab (Soviet Past Research Laboratory) and DVV International Georgia with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office.