University of Colorado at Boulder

Colloquia Event

Friday February 26, 2010. 03:30 pm. Paleontology Hall, CU Museum of Natural History

Now We Have Nothing: People Displaced From South Ossetia

Hannah Mintek


In 2008, a brief but brutal war between Russia and Georgia displaced 28,000 people from villages in South Ossetia, a breakaway province in the Republic of Georgia. The Georgian government has labeled this an act of ethnic cleansing. Foreign governments and the United Nations provided millions in humanitarian aid. Yet, to many people, this still feels like nothing in comparison with what was taken from them. Many people say that the government does nothing for them, the NGOs give them nothing, and that they have nothing to do. What does it mean to have nothing? How do people experience being displaced? What does it mean to lose your home and familiar places? And why does humanitarian aid fail to fill the void left by all that was lost? CU Professor Elizabeth Dunn and photographer Hannah Mintek spent 11 months documenting the lives of the displaced, and have created a photo exhibition and lecture about humanitarianism and the war's aftermath.