Landslide blocks road out of Svaneti

Mari Papidze uses her cellphone to call family and friends; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2012

On the first day of spring in 2012, the weather was “spring-like.” Snow was melting, which was saturating the steep hills alongside the road from Mestia to Zugdidi, and small stones were continuously falling to the edge of the road. Then our progress was blocked by these massive rocks. Like others who “arrived” before us, we got out of our vehicles and began to joke. Apparently, the Svans are the butts of lots of jokes in Georgia, so we told Svan jokes connected to the landslide. Some of us advanced closer to view the impasse. Suddenly we heard more rocks tumbling down, and we ran; I’d say that we ran for “cover,” but there was no safe place. Unfortunately, a rock hit this man and broke his leg. Friends drove him to the hospital.


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

2 Responses to Landslide blocks road out of Svaneti

  1. Anonymous says:

    Glad you made it back safely Dad! With great pics too!

  2. Tony Hanmer says:

    Many thanks for this. Posted a link to it on my FB “Svaneti Renaissance” page, gateway to all things Svan.

    Yours sincerely,

    Tony Hanmer

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