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Accepted Paper:

The role of mixed families in Georgian-Abkhazian societies torn apart by war  
Mariam Tskhovrebashvili

Paper Short Abstract:

In 1992-1993 the war in Abkhazia brought heavy consequences, especially for those people for whom Abkhazia was homeland. Georgian-Abkhazian mixed families are often seen as a resource and an opportunity to maintain kinship ties, which can be seen as a kind of bridge between two societies.

Paper Abstract:

Georgian-Abkhazian marriages were not uncommon in Abkhazia, which created mixed families. For such families, it was even more tragic to live in the conditions of armed conflict and to deal with the consequences that this conflict brought. For them, the front line also passed inside the family. For women members of mixed families, war primarily meant confronting their own family members and, in many cases, standing on opposite sides of their husbands or brothers with weapons in their hands. The war put these women in front of a choice, although this choice was even absurd at first glance, they had to choose between their national identity and their family. The word "choice" in this case refers to a decision dictated by an inevitable situation, not a decision made in a free will.

The term "mixed families" did not exist before the war, because it was the war that brought the discussion about national and ethnic affiliation not only in the public space, but also within families. The pre-war rhetoric made the family members think that they were actually from different ethnic groups and that this fact might lead them to some kind of disagreement.

Despite the post-war difficulties, women from mixed families managed to move between territorial dividing lines. 30 years have passed since the armed conflict, and women from mixed families have managed to maintain kinship ties to this day, although it turns out that this is not always a peace resource.

Panel P107
Doing and undoing kinship under military occupation
  Session 2 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -