“One significant moment that really changed my life somehow was when I was allowed to change my (Russian) sir name into my original sir name. And I figured out that this was very complicated and very odd. It’s actually not possible because of all these old documents and database, that was somehow the prove of the history were all these people were living, were just burned. Some of them were stolen, some of them were missing. And we didn’t have anything to prove our identity, our roots. Our original surnames were very good and powerful. I mean Georgia would be much different, if all these surnames and identities would remain…”

Tengiz Gualli (Akhmedov),  Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation and Consultations, Georgia

At a conference in Thessaloniki in October 2015, we asked participants from Eastern and South-eastern Europe about their “Transition Moment”. Could they tell us a little story of a moment, when they realised that something was changing fundamentally in the early 90s.