Year after year, illiberal voices in Europe and beyond are raised to question the universality of human rights, the general viability of the liberal democratic system. In a country like Georgia, which suffered from selective erasure of the historical memory during the Soviet rule, and where stability and prosperity have failed to reliably take hold after the country regained its independence, these voices resonate. What if democracy is not for the country like ours? Perhaps the true democracy means that the will of the majority prevails over the protection of the minorities?! These questions are amplified by malevolent propaganda and disinformation.
But democracy for Georgia is not a foreign concept, imposed from abroad. As the European nations were waking by the end of the 19th century, and the central and eastern European nations were finding their equal place among the nations of the world, so did Georgia. Its short-lived, but vibrant Democratic Republic of 1918-1921 has put down the foundations of genuinely popular and democratic institutions – parliament, government, courts, schools, the university – all found their national footing.
The project “Republic 100”, dedicated to the centennial of the Republic tries to fill the memory gap, to acquaint new generations with those statesmen and women who thought, worked and fought for the republic. Their aspirations, their ideas, some pioneering institutional solutions flesh out the documentary narrative of the Georgian democracy.
On the platform of Civil.ge, our readers can relive the daily news of the time, based on the archival documents and newspapers. By collaborating with historians who study that era, the project also publishes thematic research and some fascinating stories of people that fought for the Republic in those chaotic years, when the Empires clashed and fell.
The project has its permanent home at Respublika.civil.ge, engages more than 15 thousand readers at its Facebook page @Republic100Georgia and has featured documentaries under the slogan “Republic is our tradition” (available on YouTube channel)