Podcast by Mark Elliott
Episode 9 I Shahida Tulaganova UK-based Uzbek journalist, producer and director
UK-based Uzbek journalist, producer and director Shahida Tulaganova sends the world a powerful wake-up call about a potential ‘water war’ brewing in Central Asia. She reflects on other political developments in the region and looks back over some of the reasons why she herself has considered it unwise to return to her native Uzbekistan – mainly due to her daring reporting in the aftermath of the 2005 Andijan Massacre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Andijan_Massacre), fascinating footage from which can be seen on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thdWPvxMyyk).
Episode 8 | Tom Marsden - Baku-based British photo-journalist and editor
Founding-editor of Experience Azerbaijan (https://azerbaijan.travel/publications-azerbaijan) and former editor of Visions of Azerbaijan (http://www.visions.az/en/), British-born Tom Marsden has lived in Baku for seven years during which time he’s travelled to every corner of Azerbaijan in search of interesting cultural tales to tell. His photographic work has been exhibited in international exhibitions and he is the presenter of a new podcast series on behalf of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board (https://www.tourismboard.az).
Episode 7 | Zumrud Jalilova on ways to better balance gender equality in the Caucasus and beyond.
Mark apologises about the podcast's previous male dominance to Zumrud (Zuma) Jalilova, an eloquent UK based Azerbaijani scholar of both international relations and gender studies (https://www.facebook.com/groups/gendertalks). Zuma clarifies some of the myths about feminism in a Caspian context, and gives a clear, up-beat vision of some positive steps that can help society strive for greater equality. Note that the excellent short film discussed in the conversation is İkinci Güllə (The Second Bullet), viewable on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYjFxkeTD50. Zuma's wide-ranging article about the portrayal of gender roles in Azerbaijani cinema can be found here: http://www.contemporarysee.org/en/Jalilova.
Episode 6 | Matthew Bryza - Former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan
This week Mark Elliott is joined by Matthew Bryza, former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan. Matthew reveals that, despite all the responsibilities, being ambassador was the 'most fun' job he ever had. He gives fascinating insights into his work with the (OSCE) Minsk group, and hints at how much behind-the-scenes work had gone into solving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue before the 'Madrid Principles' were rejected by Armenia. Regarding the post-war situation, he remains upbeat about possibilities of maintaining peace and for working towards greater Caucasian harmony in the future.
Episode 5 | Gela's Encore! Gela Bezhuashvili, former minister turned educationalist and wine-maker
Georgian ex-minister, educationalist and wine-maker Gela Bezhuashvili continues his utopian thoughts about the possibilities of a workable Caucasian Union – a free-trade area along the lines of a Caspian ‘Benelux’ (Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg). Then, with suitable Georgian passion, he reveals the unique new product that is as yet completely exclusive to his Tsinandali winery.
Episode 4 | Gela Bezhuashvili - Georgia's ex foreign minister on positive change & Caucasian harmony
With Mark Elliott this week is Gela Bezhuashvili who, amongst many extraordinary accomplishments, was Minister of Foreign Affairs for Georgia in the thrilling years of that nation’s great revival (2004-2008). Mark and Gela compare their personal memories of that era of transition, then Gela muses on the power of possibilities to empower people. In a memorable climax he sketches out a vision for a peaceful, harmonious Caucasus by the mid-21st century.