I found stunning Abkhazia after photographing about 500 abandoned locations
Georgia had been on my list of places to visit for a few years, just waiting for the right time to settle down and make the necessary preparations. However, it took me three months before I could start my search for urban adventure.
I had already been taking pictures of deserted locations for over four years when I started getting ready for the trip. After seeing a lot of the sights in Europe, including Poland, Germany, and Portugal, I felt the need to pursue something special that would bring some adventure back into my travels.
When we landed in Georgia, winter was coming to an end. By the end of the first five days of the trip, despite not having the most pleasant weather, we had gone far and wide across Georgia looking for historical sites and tourist attractions. It would frequently obstruct our attempts to capture the breathtaking landscape on camera.
We had a busy couple of days taking pictures of abandoned sanitariums. Some of them had been providing refuge to those fleeing the fighting in Abkhazia for the previous 25 years in Western Georgia, which just so happened to be our next stop a few days later. Personally, I believed that the conflict was still very much alive in people’s memories, leaving a fragile, imperfect, and sometimes lawless country.
I kept quiet as we passed through a few tiny villages on the way to our first picture location. Since the trip itself had been somewhat weird, I sat staring out the window and tried to make sense of the scenery. Along with stunning rolling mountains and lush foliage, we drove through industries, warehouses, andautomobiles that had formerly been opulent residences.
Even though Abkhazia had plenty of portfolio shots to offer, I had to remind myself on a few occasions that this journey was about the overall series, a body of work, and not just the individual shots. However, in my opinion, the historical structures were meant to work well together this time around.
And while I photographed the architectural designs in their prime, I was continuously reminded of all the history that had occurred there as I stood atop these magnificent icons.
You see, the peculiarity of this place—as well as of this journey—was that every bend and turn held a surprise. Abkhazia was undeveloped, stunning with its endearing inhabitants, and most importantly, the de-facto state just shouted photogenically.
More info: Instagram | jameskerwin.uk
#1 A Beautiful Old Train Station
#2 An impressive train station wing
#3 A restaurant in a vacant park
#4 A Little Wooden Bridge Close to Gagra
#5 A Mountainous Disused Rail Bridge
#6 An abandoned hotel or sanitarium
#7 An abandoned hotel or sanitarium
#8 the interior of the former government building
#9 An abandoned movie theater
#10 Beautiful Staircase Inside A Hotel That Is Now Abandoned
#11 It’s a park entrance
#12 A little, dilapidated train station
#13 Former Coastside restaurant
#14 Grand Station During A Downpour
#15 An old train station in Sukhumi that is now just a black and red shell
#16 A Lasting Impression Was Left By The Small Villages In The Mountains
#17 In an old school is a lonely piano
#18 The second floor of a closed theater
#19 formerly the House of Parliament
#20 A Soviet car drives through a bus stop
#21 A roofless electrical substation