“Vicious Circle” Wins Georgian History Competition
With an analysis of her grandfather’s life during Soviet times 14-year-old Ketevan Khizanishvili impressed the jury and won the first prize in the 2021/2022 Georgian History Competition.
Despite internal opposition, Ketevan’s grandfather somehow “followed” the Soviet regime and worked as a Soviet school principal for ten years. For the competition entry of his granddaughter, he honestly told his offspring what moral pressure and bad things he went through and how he failed to fight the vices of the Soviet school. He described his experiences as a “vicious circle” which was very difficult to break.
This year’s topic of the Georgian History Competiton “30 Years Since the End of the Soviet Rule” animated 65 young people from all parts of Georgia to take part and to use a wide variety of formats, including videos and photo collections. All in all, 34 entries were submitted.
To celebrate the work and commitment of the competition winners, a festive programme took place on 23 July 2022 in the Conference Hall of the Caucasus University in Tbilisi. The welcome address by DVV International Georgia was followed by two speeches of the First Deputy Chairman of the Education and Science Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Tamar Taliashvili, and Sarah Zielonka, First Secretary, Economic and Press Affairs, at the German Embassy in Georgia. Both stressed the importance of studying history for the future and for the development of the country and society.
The local partners of the project, Nana Tsikhistavi, President of the Georgian Association of History Educators (GAHE), and Otar Dalakishvili, representative of the Soviet Past Research Laboratory (SovLab), then told the audience about the progress and results of the project. Afterwards, the representative of EUSTORY, Körber-Stiftung, Programme Manager Inka Siuts, addressed the winners via video message and informed them about the upcoming EUSTORY Youth Activities for prize winners.
Finally, the host rose to speak: David Natroshvili, Dean of the Caucasus School of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as the institutional patron of this competition, also welcomed the participants and emphasised the critical reflection of the seventy-year past. With the closing of his speech, he cleared the stage for the award ceremony itself: The first four places of the History Competition were honoured – some awards were shared by student groups who worked together on one entry. All winners were congratulated by tutor Tamuna Macharashvili via Zoom.
Ketevan Khizanishvili and the second place winners Barbara Tskhadadze and Lizi Kartvelishvili also took the opportunity to express their thankfulness for recognising their determination and hard work.
Special prizes were awarded by the Caucasus University and the Georgian Association of History Educators (GAHE) before the big buffet, specially prepared for the approx. 35 guests, became the center of the celebration.
The competition 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. The project was also supported by the Caucasus University Tbilisi.