Monday, April 18, 2011
Postage Stamps Reflections of International Art and History
When the Soviet Union, USSR, broke up, I found this sheet with Groucho Marx and John Lennon, kind of a relief with the drama of politics and two leggeds fighting over land with the dissolution of the communist state, founded through dictators like Stalin and Lenin. My parents learned Esperanto in the 1930's as an attempt to create a world language of peace and understanding, and our family had access to the dictionaries and all, and we observed Peg and Pete exchanging stamps and other items with people from over 100 nations, of many flags. How people see themselves through their postage stamps and through their colors. I purchased these stamps to share with my two sons, thinking they might catch the "stamp bug" as I have found meditating on the images, a portal into other country's view of themselves and their reality.
Here is wiki view of the nation:
Abkhazia in Post-Soviet Georgia
Flag of the SSR Abkhazia in 1989
Main article: Georgian–Abkhaz conflict
As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate at the end of the 1980s, ethnic tensions grew between the Abkhaz and Georgians over Georgia's moves towards independence. Many Abkhaz opposed this, fearing that an independent Georgia would lead to the elimination of their autonomy, and argued instead for the establishment of Abkhazia as a separate Soviet republic in its own right. The dispute turned violent on 16 July 1989 in Sukhumi. Sixteen Georgians are said to have been killed and another 137 injured when they tried to enroll in a Georgian University instead of an Abkhaz one. After several days of violence, Soviet troops restored order in the city and blamed rival nationalist paramilitaries for provoking confrontations.
In March 1990 Georgia declared sovereignty, unilaterally nullifying treaties concluded by the Soviet government since 1921 and thereby moving closer to independence. The Republic of Georgia boycotted the 17 March 1991 all-Union referendum on the renewal of the Soviet Union called by Mikhail Gorbachev — however, 52.3% of Abkhazia's population (almost all of the ethnic non-Georgian population) took part in the referendum and voted by an overwhelming majority (98.6%) to preserve the Union. Most ethnic non-Georgians in Abkhazia later boycotted a 31 March referendum on Georgia’s independence, which was supported by a huge majority of Georgia's population. Within weeks, Georgia declared independence on 9 April 1991, under former Soviet dissident Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Under Gamsakhurdia, the situation was relatively calm in Abkhazia and a power-sharing agreement was soon reached between the Abkhaz and Georgian factions, granting to the Abkhaz a certain over-representation in the local legislature.