Back to Ushguli

Back to Ushguli is a project of collection and composition about and around the sound environment of the region of Svanetia. Located in the Northwest of Georgia, Svanetia is the highest inhabited region in Europe. Mestia, its capital city, is surrounded by mountain peaks up to 5000 meters hight. Its remote location and harsh climate makes the region one of the most isolated of the Caucasus and it isn`t very unusual that in winter time some villages get fully cut off for weeks from the rest of the region by the snow.
Legend has it that it was in Svanetia that Jason and the Argonauts found the Golden Fleece and according to historians the Svanes are amongst the most ancient tribes of Georgia, in some way related to ancient Mesopotamia. Christianized between the 7th and 9th century the Svanes have kept their ancient beliefs and combined them with orthodox rites. These beliefs and the still very traditional way of life are the pillars of an unique soundscape in which the harsh and spectacular natural environment echoes the ritual chants and ceremonies.
From the collected sounds of three travels to Svanetia we composed a sound piece that will be broadcasted by RTBF in 2013. A collection of recorded sounds will be integrated into the collection of the Georgian National Museum.

Back to Ushguli is supported by the Georgian National Museums, the National Radio of Georgia, RTBF and GeoAir.

Our first trip to Svanetia has been made possible by the STEP beyond mobility grant of the European Cultural Foundation