intro LANDS IN LIMBO is an ongoing book project about the unrecognized countries of Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, Trandsniestra (Transnistria), Nagorno Karabakh and Somaliland. These de-facto states exist in a politcal, social and cultural limbo, waiting for international recognition and confirmation of their self-determination. Most of the countries included in Lands in Limbo broke away from recognized countries after bloody ethnic conflicts, resulting in tens of thousands of dead and millions of people displaced through purges in an attempt to create ethnic majorities. Now, the wars have cooled to the point of frozen, although no peace agreements have been reached. Since the end of the wars of seperation, these unrecognized countries have succeed in securing their new borders, building varying degrees of functional governments and isolating themselves from the international community. The isolation felt in these states is immense but there are very real effects of the international isolation as well. All of the countries in Lands in Limbo experience economic embargoes, which not only limit the free flow of goods and services but also investment and foreign capital, making it impossible to create a function economy leading to unemployment rates upwards of 75%. The lack of capital also means the state governments have no little means to repair the damage from war, the antiquated infrastructure and most importantly, to provide for it’s citizens’ needs. While the governments appear willing to wait for recognition from an international community that lacks the interest to resolve these issues, the people continue to suffer, with no end in sight. Lands in Limbo is a project about more than the economic hardships and the failings of de-facto governments. It is about the isolation of people. It is about the denial of self-determination and cultural identity. It is about the consequences of separatism, beyond the bloody wars. It is about how self-determination fits into a globalizing world that is trying to moving past borders and ethnic differences. It looks into the issue of international recognition and the effects this has on a people. Ultimately, Lands in Limbo asks, though does not presume to answer, the question; Is war and the ensuing decades of isolation, denial of identity, poverty, and uncertainty worth sovereignty?