ECMI Publications Database

#103: Nomen Est Omen? Naming and Renaming of Places in Minority Inhabited Areas in Georgia
María Diego Gordón
European Centre for Minority Issues
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Georgia is home for almost 490,000 members of different ethnic minority groups, people that are mostly inhabiting the Kvemo Kartli and Samkhtse-Javakheti regions. Since the beginning of the 1990’s claims have been made by local activists and some NGOs regarding the renaming of their villages in these areas. It has long been discussed the pivotal role played by place-names in the formation of the collective memory of a country. Hence, even though these names are perceived as an unquestionable part of everyday landscape, they are a really valuable reflection of the different political tendencies that the governments and regimes are following, for example, regarding ethnic and national minorities. Firstly, the aim of this working paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of the changes that the topographical landscape in the minority inhabited areas in Georgia have experienced since 1921. Secondly, to explain and contextualize the reasons behind the very different regimes and governments to execute these changes.

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