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Georgian Spring is the travel journal of ten Magnum photographers who visited Georgia during spring 2009.
Situated on the eastern fringe of Europe, between Turkey and Russia, with a sophisticated culture that dates back to its settlement by the ancient Greeks, Georgia was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922. Its independence was restored in 1991, but this was followed by civil war and economic breakdown. In the 21st century, despite ongoing tensions with Russia, Georgia has mounted a spirited comeback, transforming itself into a modern European state at a remarkable pace.
At the invitof Georgia’s Ministry of Culture, Magnum photographers Antoine d’Agata, Jonas Bendiksen, Thomas Dworzak, Martine Franck, Alex Majoli, Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Mark Power and Alec Soth set out to describe the country, each pursuing their own theme and working in their own way, chronicling their journey in words as well as pictures. A 20-page chapter is devoted to each photographer’s work. The book also features a foreword by Dworzak, Magnum’s Tbilisi-based photographer; a timeline of Georgia’s history; an essay by Wendell Steavenson – who vividly renews her acquaintance with the country that she came to know while living there during the 1990s; and a chapter featuring the best of Magnum’s archive of photographs of Georgia – including Robert Capa’s 1947 photo-essay, made while visiting the Soviet Union with John Steinbeck. The book opens and closes with a series of postcards showing some of the country’s iconic attractions, old and new, chosen with Georgia’s President Mikhiel Saakashvili and Minister of Culture, Nicholas Rurua.