THE CAUCASIAN HISTORY LESSONS 2015 - ongoing
The Caucasian History Lessons imagines a rational state instead of a national state and invites historians, teachers, students and a larger
public in complex imagination of particular histories in connection with their regions and neighbors.
The starting premise of this chalkboard project are the (questionable) ways in which history is taught in schools; the educational system being a crucial site where our understanding and visions of the world, as well as our place in it, are formed. This realization stemmed from explorations of history books old and new, having become increasingly aware of how different nations and interest groups portray the same key events in past and recent history in radically contrasting ways.
Parallel to the history books, the field of biology is an important source for contextualization and a means to activate the symbolic register and show the essence of epochal historic events in Caucasus. For The Caucasian History Lessons I worked closely with historians and translators on periods of significant transformation in the region, the repercussion of which have continued impact today.
Visitors to the exhibition encounter a visual installation inscribed on school chalkboards, presenting a cross analysis of textbooks from the five countries. Once again, the installation shows how the “official stories” are undone (or how mytho- histories are created) when they are lined-up one beside the other, creating yet another birds-eye view of contested histories, borders, and movements of people that continue to unfold in the present.