Georgia is a largely mountainous country in which the rural population, 47% of the total, has not benefited from the country’s economic growth. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Georgia’s agricultural productivity has declined, shifting the GDP to a largely service-based economy.
For the people of Upper Svaneti, a remote sliver of land nestled high in the gorges of Georgia, the last words uttered by the dying are portents of the future.
And the future looks bleak.
Residents say the same ominous rattle has echoed over so many of its death beds this past year - "The Svans are in danger, be careful" - that villagers are now braced for battle.
The source of their deep unease - electricity.