On 25 February 2020, Georgia marked 99 years after the occupation of Georgian by the Bolshevik Red Army. Within the frame of the project “Enhancing Openness of State Archives in the Former Soviet and Eastern Bloc Countries”, comprising the component of memory studies, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) actively works on increasing the awareness about the Soviet occupation in the society.
Commitments to bring about positive changes in archival landscape have been made by nearly 20 countries in their action plans for the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Commitments ranged from ensuring unhindered citizen access to public information and archival documents, adopting or amending relevant archival laws, declassifying archival materials, and digitizing paper-based documents to make them publicly available online.
On 15-16 February 2020, the head of the Archives, Soviet and Memory Studies direction at the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Anton Vacaharadze and an analyst, Megi Kartsivadze attended the conference „Nationalist Historiography in Post-Communist South Caucasus“ organized by the Central European University in Budapest.
On February 4, 2019, a briefingand discussion for journalists was held at the Belarusian Documentation Centre at which the openness of state archives and the publicity of data about repressed people were discussed. The initiator and organizer of the event was the researcher of the Belarusian Documentation Centre and the partner of the project “Enhancing Openness of State Archives in the Former Soviet and Eastern Bloc Countries” by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Dmitry Drozd.
The network of open archives was created in 2017-2018 within the frame of an analogous project. In the beginning, it covered 10 post-Soviet countries while in 2019, 8 new countries of the Eastern Europe were added to the project.
On December 5-6, The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) organized the 2nd international conference - Openness of State Archives and Memory Studies.
On November 25, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) in collaboration with the National Library of Georgia held the presentation of the memorial album about the life and work of a prominent public figure of the First Republic of Georgia, Nikoloz (Karlo) Chkheidze. The album includes the archival and photo materials that have not been published before, extensive annotations and the details of Karlo Chkheidze’s biography and public work.
On 20 November, the Director of the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Rafal Rogulski and the representatives from Hungary, Germany and the Baltic countries visited the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI).
After Stalin became the leader of the Soviet Union, speedy reforms of the Soviet schools and educational system began. Since the day of its foundation, USSR had been endeavoring to create a centralized educational system which would be based on the Marxist principles and would bring up the new Soviet citizens according to the Communist ideals. During Stalin’s rule, these processes achieved a whole new level and similarly to the other spheres, became a subject to totalitarian control.
Studies of the stories of the repressed persons, their proper commemoration and immortalization is an important and urgent issue in the post-Soviet region.