‘Highland Abkhazia’ Foundation demonstrates a unique nature that has been almost unknown so far" />

No one has seen this snow before

‘Highland Abkhazia’ Foundation demonstrates a unique nature that has been almost unknown so far

The exhibition entitled ‘The Land of Secret Spirit of Nature’, which is currently underway in Sukhum, is just the top of the iceberg. Or, to be more precise, the top of the mountain, since these photos feature the mountains.  The photos were taken by the co-founders of the ‘Highland Abkhazia’ Foundation, which is going to mark its 5th anniversary this year. 

The life of absolute majority of the population in Abkhazia is concentrated in the seaside cities. So, highlands remain a realm of pure nature, except that shepherds ascend here in summer time and hunters may wander off here sometimes.

‘Highland Abkhazia’ Foundation has become the only Abkhaz project about the nature and its grandeur.

Tengiz Tarba and Alan Vouba are the initiators of the project.

A photo of Alan Vouba (on the left) and Tengiz Taba (on the right)

Their idea is simple- to help preserve the nature through promotion of Abkhazia’s highland. The Foundation produces documentaries, publishes leaflets, calendars and conducts expeditions.

The Foundation’s projects are carried out through the private companies’ donations, as well as on the state agencies’ funds.    

The year 2015 turned out to be particularly important to the Foundation – a huge project entitled ‘The Seasons of the Year’ was launched by the co-founders.

The idea was to conduct hiking tours, horseback and vehicle expeditions, to all mountainous regions of Abkhazia in each season of the year. The list of locations they have visited includes such remote and hard-to-reach areas like Agura track, Grybza valley, the Arbaika mountain massif, the Adyuada Lake.

Four 10-day winter expeditions turned out to be the most unique ones. The team visited the remote mountainous areas that until then could be accessed only by a helicopter. The snow depth there reached 14 meters.

It was then that the winter nature of mountainous Abkhazia was photographed and shown to the world for the first time.

‘The Land of Secret Spirit of Nature’ is the first exhibition, which is timed to the 5th anniversary of the Foundation.

“Through this exhibition we’ve tried to summarize certain results –in photos, videos, in our thoughts, says Tengiz Tarba, a co-founder of the ‘Highland Abkhazia’ Foundation.

Practical outcome of the Foundation’s activity is, first of all, that the mountain trails that have been unknown until now have been mapped and an extensive story about Abkhazia’s opportunities has been done through cooperation with the National Geographic and Russian media. As well as numerous photo and video diaries, that are publicly available at the exhibition.

“Today, we keep contacts with almost every continent. A few days ago I spoke with the athletes and journalists from America. They saw our video clips and now they want to travel to Abkhazia to tell the American skiers and freeriders about highland Abkhazia, says Tengiz Tarba.

“Of course, a lot of works have accumulated throughout 365 expedition days that we spent in the mountains. It was rather hard to select photos for the exhibition. When you are standing and watching sunrise or sunset, you realize that you are witnessing a miracle, says Tengiz Tarba.

“Highland Abkhazia has changed me. Or, to be more precise, has led me to the roots and brought back a sense of inner harmony. Therefore, it’s important to communicate it to each every person that without knowing highland Abkhazia we are sort of orphaned and desolated, says Tengiz.   

Tengiz Tarba’s colored highland works are exhibited in the hall right opposite to Alan Vouba’s black-and-white world of mountain peaks.

‘I like colors, but… the shades of black and white allow to convey much more. I tried to draw a kind of boundary line. To show, what is hidden, to expose the invisible, says Alan Vouba.

‘For me, art is, first of all, the way of knowing oneself and the world. When there are questions,  though your camera lens you can find answers both, in the nature and in yourself, says Alan.

Fazil Iskander wrote that ‘time passes unhurriedly in the mountains’.

The opinions, expressed in this article convey the author’s views and terminology do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editorial staff.

Published on: 22. 11. 2016

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