The culture of volunteering has not been fully established in Georgia yet and most people don’t know where to start. Even though Georgians do a lot of things for their families and community, it is not often defined as volunteer work that is supported, respected and promoted by the community. In the country where working hours are unregulated, wages are low and social security is weak, the entire burden falls on a family. Therefore, it’s no wonder that people don’t find the time nor interest for work that doesn’t pay money. Ana Kuprava has started volunteering during the pandemic with Helping Hand, a NGO based in Tbilisi. Apart from visiting and helping the elderly, she now spends a lot of time as an ambassador, informing other young people around Georgia about volunteering to help them get involved.
A 23-year-old Ukrainian, far from home, tries to make life a little easier for Ukrainians escaping from the war. Around 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees have crossed into Poland since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war. Ukrainian Darina Hlava, 23, who has lived and worked in the Polish city of Poznan for the last five years, is helping refugees find a place to live, orient themselves in their new reality, register and get help. Poznan, the fifth largest city in Poland, has become the temporary home for 40,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Once an Armenian emigre living in Germany, a young woman tries to bring change to a rural community in Armenia.
Many Azerbaijani villages, like Shamlig, are dying as families abandon their homes to escape the poverty and poor living conditions in rural communities.
Life around a toxic dump as seen through the eyes and experiences of a resilient villager. The "Martyr's Tailing Dump", located near the Armenian-Georgian border, is filled with tons of toxic chemicals. The tailings are dumped without any efforts to protect the soil or, and nearby in the village of Mets Ayrum, people live and breathe that poison through the wind and dust. These people have not been evacuated or compensated for the damage to their health. The poisonous tailings pond flooded Samvel Siradeghyan's garden years ago, making the land no longer suitable for agriculture. The trees have dried up. Samvel Siradeghyan refuses to surrender, unlike most of the villagers, who try not to notice the damage and the presence of the tailings dam. He started a lawsuit against the mining company and the government for the damage done to his family. Samvel sees no other way out than to fight in his own way, instead of succumbing to despair. Through purely cinematic language, director Mery Aghakhanyan creates a surreal experience of the village Mets Ayrum, where fact and imagination is blurred.
It is difficult for Nargiz Safarova to visit her former Sovietsky neighborhood since the building where she lived for over 40 years was torn down.
Two Russian journalists moved to Armenia following the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an act of protest against the Russian attack and the government’s policy of media censorship. The Russian invasion of Ukraine changed the fate of thousands of Russians, including journalists Vlad Gagin, 29, and Andrey Serafimov, 24. In protest to the invasion, the two fled to Armenia in search of peace and the freedom to work. Freedom of speech and media ethics are core values for journalists–and often difficult to find in Russia. In Armenia, working in different media, Vlad and Andrey have discovered a new purpose: competing with Russian propaganda.
Right after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many Russians who openly opposed the regime fled to other countries. More than 30,000 have found themselves in Georgia as they sought to avoid political pressure and sanctions. Their arrival, however, has not been universally welcomed as Russia occupies 20 percent of their host country's territory. Mitya, a young Russian activist, provides insight into a newly formed Russian community in the Georgian capital that is trying to establish itself during these uncertain times. Mitya and his friends have to prove they are victims of the Russian government, not aggressors...