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The Caucasus, OSINT, & Bodybuilding | M.A. in Eurasian, Russian, & East European Studies @ Georgetown University | Insta/Twitter: @aejleslie
Credit: TriArt Film, 2020

“There is no room for weakness in Georgian dance.”

Levan Akin’s And Then We Danced (2020) sparked controversy in Georgia when it premiered. Actually, “controversy” might be an understatement.

It caused a riot in Tbilisi.

Why? Because it depicts LGBT characters in the context of Georgian dance — a cultural…


Credit: Jonathan Borba, Unsplash

If we’ve collectively learned *anything* from the COVID-19 pandemic and the unpredictability of lockdowns, closures, and regulations, it’s this — we have to become increasingly flexible, open-minded, and adaptable to the changing world around us and the future demands it may bring.

I’ve been adhering to a muscle-building, cyclical workout…


Credit: Alexander Leslie, “The Arch of Sorrow Monument,” 15 Oct 2016

(Content Warning: Descriptions of operations and activities at a prison camp for women in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, 1937–1953.)

As I walked under “The Arch of Sorrow” towards the main administrative center of ALZHIR — through the execution fields, past the guard towers and barracks, and just beyond the…


Credit: Psychonaut 4, The Metal Archives

This article is a metered compilation of three separate lists I had made of metal bands from the South Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia, & Azerbaijan.

I have simplified these articles and compiled them together here, creating one coherent archive of all three countries.

Much of the credit in the research goes…


Credit: Psychonaut 4, The Metal Archives

Much of the credit in making this list goes to Encyclopedia Metallum: The Metal Archives and its exhaustive, crowdsourced documenting of heavy metal from around the world. For more information on the bands listed here, check out The Metal Archives’ Georgia page.

This list is compiled from a variety of…


Credit: Sergei Bobylev/TASS, via Getty Images

This reference guide is part of a reference list of all civil aviation registries in the world that are available to the public — covering sovereign states beginning with D-F.

Most United Nations member states that are signatories to the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation are also members…


Credit: Federal Aviation Administration

Reading a notice to airmen (NOTAM) is a daunting task.

Decoding one — a feat of strength.

Even online translation tools — or apps like ForeFlight — are geared towards a target audience of pilots, air traffic controllers, and experienced aviation enthusiasts who have the FAA’s official “NOTAM Contractions” spreadsheet…


Credit: Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), 9 Oct. 2020, https://www.fpri.org/article/2020/10/event-report-on-the-conflict-in-nagorno-karabakh/

Following a period of escalation and armed conflict in Sept.-Nov. 2020, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is back on the radar for conflict analysts, journalists, activists, and diplomatic personnel.

This marks the first major confrontation since 2016 and, arguably, the most significant clash since the end of the…


Credit: National Center of Manuscripts, 2017. “Signature of Mariam Dadiani (1783–1841) on a deed signed by Solomon II of Imereti (1772–1815) for Jruchi Monastery, 1809.”

From kheli (ხელი) “hand, handwriting” and the verbal root rtva (რთვა) “adorn, decorate” — the khelrtva (ხელრთვა) is one of the most complicated calligraphic traditions in medieval handwriting, rivaling that of the Ottoman tughra, the Japanese kaō, or the Jeli Diwani variety of Arabic script (also used by the Ottomans…


Credit: Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, 23 Oct. 2020

…and, the locals of the Rioni Gorge.

And ENKA Renewables.

And possibly Georgia-Turkey relations as a whole?

A lot is at stake. …

Alexander Leslie

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