Time, Forward! Summary

Olga Brednikova


Part of a series of essays by Russian sociologists who took part in a two-week “fieldwork school” on both sides of the Russian-Abkhazian border in 2005, this paper discusses how the passage from Russia to Abkhazia affects the experience of time. The first impression is that in Abkhazia, time has stopped or ceased to exist. Nature is taking over semi-destroyed man-made structures, creating a sense of death and timelessness. The second perception is that of a time lag, created by the ubiquitous presence of “Soviet” objects and practices that Russian observers associate with a timeless past. The third factor is nation-building. References to a glorious national past and to the recent war structure perceptions of historical time. Russia and Georgia remain the most important temporal references, as in the debate on whether to use daylight saving time, as in Russia, or remain on Georgian time. In Russian, summary in English.

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