From February 22nd to 24th, 2023, the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) hosted a public lecture titled "Soviet Occupation and Its Impact on Georgia's Memory", as well as a screening of the film "Cemetery of the Shot Dead in Batumi" by Radio Liberty. These events were held as part of the week commemorating the Soviet occupation.
On February 22nd, a meeting was held at the N8 public school in Khashuri municipality. Following the public lecture and film screening, a discussion was held where school teachers shared Khashuri's experience and history with the students regarding the topics of occupation and repression.
On February 23rd, a public lecture and film screening were held at Millennium School in Tbilisi. It's worth noting that during the discussion, school teachers actively participated alongside the students, leading to many interesting stories and questions being raised.
The events continued on February 24th at the International Georgian School (IGS), where an active discussion took place on the presentation topic towards the end of the meeting.
Anton Vatcharadze, the head of the memory and disinformation studies direction at the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), delivered an open lecture titled "Soviet Occupation and Its Impact on Georgia's Memory”. During the lecture, he highlighted the causes and effects of the 70-year occupation, with a particular focus on the mass repressions that occurred after the Soviet takeover. Vatcharadze emphasized the importance of promoting the study and remembrance of the Soviet past among young people and increasing awareness of the Soviet occupation within society.
Following the public lecture, the audience watched the "Cemetery of the Shot Dead in Batumi" film by Radio Liberty. The film portrays the process of opening Tomb N6 in Batumi, specifically in Khelvachauri, which is situated on the former Russian military base. It showcases the work undertaken by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) and tells the story of the son of one of the repressed individuals who hopes to obtain his father's DNA material and compare it with the DNA of the 29 individuals found in Tomb N6.
On February 24th, the American Corner of Batumi organized a hybrid event titled "Soviet Colonialism and Human Rights." The event featured Anton Vatcharadze, the head of the memory and disinformation research department at the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), who discussed the history of Soviet Georgia.
Around 200 schoolchildren, teachers, and other interested citizens attended the meetings that were held as part of the week dedicated to the Soviet occupation.
The information meetings were held with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida.
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