Media comments on the conference ‘Circassians in the 21st century’

The conference “Circassians in the 21st century: Survival and Identity – in the homeland and diaspora”, hosted by RUCARR and the Section for Caucasus Studies, Malmö University, received attention on some news sites and blogs:

November 23
Circassian Culture Center – Черкесский (Адыгский) Культурный Центр участвует на встречах в Швеции. Read the article

November 24
Кавказ.РеалииЧеркесская конференция проходит в Швеции. Read the article.

November 25
Caucasus Times – Итоги конференции в Швеции: Черкесский этикет и язык сохранят черкесов в 21 веке. Read the article

November 26
Adyg Afisha/Адыгэ мэкъэгъэIу – Адыгэ лъэпкъым фэгъэхьыгъэ шIэныгъэ зэхахьэ Швецием щыкIуагъ. Read the article

November 26
NatPress – Итоги конференции в Швеции: Черкесский этикет и язык сохранят черкесов в 21 веке. Read the article

November 29
Кавказ.Реалии – Веха в черкесоведении. Read the article

Creating a documentary film about the last speaker of Ubykh

Tevfik Esenç, the last fluent speaker of Ubykh, and prof. Hans Vogt of Oslo University, could hardly have imagined during their fieldwork in Norway in 1959 that their grandson and son would meet in Oslo almost 60 years later to talk about their fieldwork on Ubykh….


Burcu and Burak Esenç, Tevfik Esenç’s granddaughter and grandson, are following in their grandfather’s footsteps, gathering materials and memories related to Ubykh and its last speaker. This is part of creating a documentary film. The Turkish film team has already visited Paris, focusing on Georges Dumezil’s work on Ubykh.

The team recently visited Oslo, which included a meeting and interview with Karina Vamling, professor of Caucasus Studies at Malmö University (photo below: Burak and Burcu to the left, Karina to the right).

The North-West Caucasian language Ubykh, well-known to linguists for its uniquely high number of consonants, became extinct in Turkey in 1992 with the death of its last speaker, Tevfik Esenç. He had learned the language from his grandparents, who were among the Ubykhs who were forced into exile in the mid 1860s when their lands on the Caucasian Black Sea coast had been conquered by the Russian Empire after fierce resistance.

Research portrait of Märta-Lisa Magnusson

mlmThe Swedish newspaper Arvika Nyheter (2016-07-04) has published a portrait of  Märta-Lisa Magnusson, senior lecturer of Caucasus Studies at Malmö University, describing how her interest in Russia started and evolved, and how it later gradually shifted to also include the Caucasus. bocker

Currently she is one of the lecturers of the online courses in Caucasus Studies, offered at the Section for Caucasus Studies in Malmö. Photo: A selection of Märta-Lisa Magnusson’s many publications on Russia and the Caucasus (

During the collapse of the Soviet Union she took an interest in the country’s minority groups.

– The Soviet Union was a multinational state. Russians were the largest group, of course, but 20 percent were not Russians. How did these peoples think and react to the ongoing processes at that time?

In that way Märta-Lisa found herself engaged in the Caucasus and became interested in Chechya, among other things. In the end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s together she undertook  fieldwork and organized study visits for researchers and journalists to the regions that were dominated by non-Russian population.

Read the whole article (in Swedish):

Photo by Anton Eriksson


Interview with Märta-Lisa Magnusson on Karabakh in Huffpost Brasil

Senior lecturer Märta-Lisa Magnusson is interviewed in the article “Precisamos falar some Karabakh” (We need to talk about Karabakh) by the journalist Igor Patrick Silva, published in Huffpost Brazil on March 10, 2016. Read the article

Para Märta-Lisa Magnusson, professora sênior em Estudos do Cáucaso da Universidade de Mälmo, na Suécia e especialista em conflitos pós-soviéticos, classificar Khojaly como genocídio demanda especial atenção da comunidade internacional.

(Transl.: According to Märta-Lisa Magnusson, senior lecturer in Caucasus Studies at the University of Malmö, Sweden, and an expert on post-Soviet conflicts, whether the Khojaly tragedy should be viewed as a genocide demands a special investigation of the international community.)

Listen to the whole interview in English  with Märta-Lisa Magnusson




Märta-Lisa Magnusson interviewed in Open Democracy

Senior lecturer Märta-Lisa Magnusson is interviewed on recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh in an article published in Open Democracy. The article discusses problems related to the lack of  international standing of Nagorno-Karabach.

Read the article by Lucas Goetz in Open Democracy –  “Nagorno-Karabakh: European Dreams”:

On the security situation in Chechnya


Radio P4 interview with Märta-Lisa Magnusson, senior lecturer in Caucasus Studies at Malmö University, on the security situation in Chechnya.

Following a decision by the Swedish Migration Board a Chechen family was sent back to Chechnya from Sweden. A couple of months after their return the father was killed.

Listen to the interview:

Project presentation at Sokhumi University: Abkhaz electronic library

1654198_868075383225601_4400330469273951624_nA unique project in Abkhazalogy was presented at Sokhumi State University, Tbilisi, on November 6. The aim of the project is to create an electronic library of Abkhaz literature published mainly after 1991 on the Abkhaz language, grammars and dictionaries, as well as works on Abkhaz archeology, history, ethnography, folklore, literature and other areas of the Humanities. The project is funded jointly by UNDP  and EU (COBERM).

1513690_868086256557847_8538579649693276041_nProject leader is professor Teimuraz Gvanceladze (photo above, to the right), a prominent specialist on the Abkhaz language and Director of the Institute of Abkhaz Language and Culture at Sokhumi University. Co-workers in the project are both Abkhaz and Georgien scholars: Dr. Rezo Kacia, Dr. Gvanca Gvanceladze, Dr. Tamar Gitolendia and Sofiko Chaava. The research team has already started their work and at the project site around 60 pubications are already available:

The project presentation was covered by the Abkhaz  team of the news program Moabe, 2TV (Meore Arkhi), November 7. In the clip below professor Teimuraz Gvanceladze  tells about the project and, as one of the foreign guests at the presentation, professor Karina Vamling, Malmö University (Sweden), gives her views and comments on the importance of the project.  The program is broadcasted in the Abkhaz language.

Contacts and international exchange – Sokhumi University and Malmö University

Sokhumi State University, Tbilisi, is a partner university in the Erasmus Mundus EMINENCE project where Malmö University also participates. The exchange is open at all levels – staff, post-docs, PhD candidates, students at MA and BA levels (read more: