Georgia has become a new front line in the global battle against rising authoritarianism. With thousands on the street protesting a new “foreign agent” law inspired by the Kremlin’s own legislation, the country’s centuries-long struggle for freedom faces a turning point.

“I was trying to film, and the riot police officers just pushed me, and they forced me out and they tried to take away my camera. And this is not a rare thing anymore. It’s very normal to just attack journalists,” said Georgian journalist Mariam Nikuradze at the Coda-organized event “Georgia at the crossroads” on May 19.

The online discussion brought together a range of voices to examine the local dynamics and global significance of the unprecedented crackdown on dissent in Georgia. Speakers included:

  • Anne Applebaum, historian (U.S.)
  • Tornike Gordadze, political scientist and former minister (Georgia)
  • Egor Kuroptev, political expert and media manager (Russia)
  • Gia Japaridze, professor and academic (Georgia)
  • Hanna Lubakova, journalist and researcher (Belarus)
  • Peter Pomerantsev, author and journalist (U.K./U.S.)
  • Tamara Arveladze, activist and founder of Shame Movement (Georgia)
  • Mariam Nikuradze, journalist (Georgia)
  • Nino Japiashvili, editor at Radio Tavisupleba (Georgia)
  • Slobodan Djinovic, founding member of Otpor and founder of CANVAS (Serbia)

“Georgia at the crossroads” was organized in partnership with ZEG FestStranger’s Guide and our local media partner in Tbilisi, Radio Tavisueba. Watch the recording of the full conversation below and stay tuned for more events like these in the future.