International Conference - “Patterns of Migration – Present and Past”


On 16-20 September 2023 Ilia State University hosted the International Conference - “Patterns of Migration – Present and Past”. It was enriched with various workshops and cultural activities on 16-25 September 2023. The Conference is part of the Research Project "Global Entanglements of the Germans in Georgia (1817-1941)", that is financed by the BKM (Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien / The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media, Berlin, Germany) and organized by Ilia State University and University of Siegen (Siegen, Germany).

The aim of the conference was to analyze the migration processes in present and past, present a modern approach in research on archival sources and to show the important aspects of digital research activities. During the conference Professors, Guests and Students from various Universities, presented and discussed the important aspects about migration in the whole world and especially in the Caucasus region. The main perspective concentrated on the German Colonization in Georgia and its influence beyond the specific local community. The participants visited also three important German settlements in Georgia: Bolnisi (Katharinenfeld), Asureti (Elisabeththal) and Sartichala (Marienfeld).

The speakers presented the following topics:

  • Stephanie Lawson:Geopolitics in the Pacific Century
  • Sigrid Baringhorst:  EU Migration and Refugee Policies – Aims, Strategies and Dilemmas.
  • Raphaela Averkorn: Migration and Knowledge Transfer – The Huguenots.
  • Lali Kakhidze: Archival Sources and AI.
  • Uta Liebeskind: Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods Using Project Material.
  • Levan Tsagareli: German-Georgian Intercultural Literature.
  • Marie Anna Schöbel: The Woman Clothed with the Sun - The Role of the Revelation in the Lives of Joanna Southcott and Juliane von Krüdener.
  • Felix Lodermeier: The Pursuit of Happiness in the Distance. The History of the German Diaspora in Tbilisi in the Long 19th Century.
  • Florian Krönert: Hoped-for Freedoms in the New Promised Land? The Reality of Life of the Pietist Settlers from Southern Germany in Georgia in the 19th Century.
  • David Jishkariani/ Oliver Reisner: German Colonists and Bolshevik Power – Asureti in the 1920s.
  • Iwa Mindadze: German Prisoners of War in Georgia.
  • Tatiana Sitchinava: Post-war Migration and its Impact on the Socio-Economic Environment of Georgia.
  • Andreas Gkolfinopoulos:The Brain Drain and its Perception by Highly Skilled (Non)Migrants from Greece.
  • Tamar Taralashvili: Youth and Migration in Georgia.
  • Anna Chincharauli:  Resettlement of the Chechens and the Khevsurs in the Greater Caucasus in the 1940s and the 1950s.

Some participants were also presenters in the 8th International Scientific Conference of the National Archives in Georgia. The themes were about:

  • Everyday life in Asureti during the Soviet period according to the Household Records - David Jishkariani, Ilia State University.
  • Religion, media and society - impacts on daily life in the German villages in the South Caucasus (19th/early 20th centuries) - Raphaela Averkorn, Universität Siegen.
  • How do I get to the Semmelplatz? (The process of forming cultural on the example of constructing the history of German Colonists in Georgia) - Ivane Mindadze, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.
  • German Colonists in Georgia – Work on digital archival Sources and Modern Approaches in databases - Lali Kakhidze, Ilia State University.
  • Not for Lenin alone – How Swabian Colonists in Asureti-Elisabethtal responded to the establishment of Bolshevik power in Georgia in the 1920s - Oliver Reisner, Ilia State University.


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