Mission & Vision



Sovlab’s mission is to promote the study of the Soviet totalitarian past, enhance the understanding of its legacy, and create a space for free thought and discussion.

We recognize that Russia's long-term information warfare in Georgia seeks to exploit the country's Soviet past to undermine its European aspirations. Therefore, the organization actively promotes the development of a memory culture in Georgia and encourages the participation of various groups in researching, studying, and understanding recent history.

Sovlab’s objectives are:

- Understanding recent history to increase society's moral responsibility towards the memory of the victims of totalitarian regimes.

- Combating the instrumentalization of memory to fight disinformation.

- Promoting the role and importance of the individual in historical processes, and integrating their experiences into the collective memory of society.

- Encouraging public involvement in studying recent history or promoting it to enhance civic self-awareness.

- Fostering the development of memory culture and the memorialization of significant sites.


In its activities, the organization is guided by the following principles:

- Full observance of research ethics principles.

- Maintaining high-quality standards.

- Openness and accountability.

- Networking and cooperation with interested parties.

- Attracting and involving volunteers in research.

- Encouraging and promoting research activities.





Organization History



The Soviet Past Research Laboratory (Sovlab) is a leading Georgian think tank dedicated to researching Georgia's Soviet totalitarian past and countering the weaponization of memory by Russian disinformation.


In 2009, during an international conference organized by DVV International and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, an initiative group was formed with the aim of developing the topic of the topography of Stalinism, terror, and repression. The group began researching to create a documentary and educational route about Soviet terror and repression in Tbilisi. Subsequently, in March 2010, the Soviet Past Research Laboratory was established. The organization was founded by Lasha Bakradze, Davit Gogoshvili, Giorgi Kldiashvili, Nino Lezhava, Ana Margvelashvili, Giorgi Shaishmelashvili, and Davit Jishkariani. Since then, the board of Sovlab has undergone several changes.


From 2010 to the present, the organization has conducted project-by-project research on key issues in Georgia’s modern history that have been distorted by decades of Soviet propaganda. The topics Sovlab has addressed include the legacy of the Democratic Republic of Georgia and its democratic institutions, the Soviet invasion and occupation of Georgia, organized anti-communist resistance against the Soviet occupation, Soviet totalitarian terror, the post-Stalin era, and the late Soviet period leading to the restoration of independence.


Sovlab has published 19 books and numerous articles, and hosted conferences, talks, roundtable discussions, film screenings, and exhibitions. Additionally, it has digitized numerous archival and other audiovisual materials and made them accessible to the wider public.


In 2022, Sovlab joined the Information Integrity Coalition, an initiative of civil society organizations aimed at building resilience against disinformation and contributing to a stronger, more democratic Georgian society.


In 2021, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs designated Sovlab as the number one Georgian organization accused of “faking history” – a badge of honor and recognition of its work. In 2022, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee endorsed Sovlab’s efforts, further highlighting the importance and credibility of its mission.







Team


Barbare Aroshvili
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Lisi Basilaia
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Keti Chartolani
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Nini Gogiberidze
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Nini Gvelukashvili
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Giorgi Kandelaki
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David Khvadagiani
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Rusko Kobakhidze
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Katie Kurtanidze
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Anna Margvelashvili
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Salome Odisharia
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Badri Okudjava
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Anna Shotadze
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Ketevan Sikharulidze
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Magda Tsotskhalashvili
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Barbara Aroshvili graduated from the Faculty of Byzantine Philology in 2017. In 2019-2020, she worked as a style editor at Tabula. In 2019, she joined the Sovlab team in the same position. She is also a junior refresher at Sovlab and works on the Forbidden Memory series. Since 2024, she has held the position of an analyst at Ilia State University, working on the base of prosopography.










Partners & Donors




Contact


Tbilisi, 0179 Vasil Barnovi Street #41.

E-mail: info.sovlab@gmail.com

Phone: +995 593 785901

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