Author Archives: Hannah Mintek

About Hannah Mintek

Freelance photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. A former Peace Corps volunteer, Mintek has spent five years living in the Republic of Georgia. She received a BFA from the University of Wisconsin. Her documentary and art photography is available online at

Photo Essay: Unsettled

In 2008, 28,000 people were ethnically cleansed from the breakaway province of South Ossetia during a brief but brutal war between Georgia and Russia. Their villages were bombed, burned, and in some cases bulldozed to ensure they could never return, and the entire province was occupied by Russia's 58th Army. Because return soon was unlikely, the Georgian government, acting in concert with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and more than ninety-five nongovernmental organizations and donor governments, chose to resettle them in thirty-six hastily built settlements in which they were to rebuild their lives. However, because the aid system was so chaotic, and because most aid agencies were acting in improvised ways, the internally displaced persons were housed in bleak and isolated settlements, unemployed and left to sit in poorly built homes that soon began to decay. Hannah Mintek's photographs offer a window into this scenario.