Between Tradition and Modern,
VG Bildkunst Grant
„I think that family is the most important thing!“
„If I had to choose beetwen poor and good or rich and corrupt I have no idea what I would do.“
„I like the role of a woman in Georgian Dances and in everyday life. Everything has to be moving around me. I really like this role.“
„And the traditions that I do not consider necessary probably relate to Supra.“
„I think that we can‘t embrace modernity without embracing our traditions.“
„I would definitely love to have a bit of influence, but only towards the better.“
„Georgian dance of male and female is very contrasty and I like this contrast.“
„But I would create a tradition where some category of the people go together and clean our nature.“
Here and now you will get to know beautiful, youthful, full of hopes and energy, twinkling eyes, intelligent, unfettered young Georgians. This generation was born and raised in a free and independent country. Those who have missed the Soviet oppression and narrowness. You can easily identify their freedom and open-mindedness by what they say. Their narrative sounds like the roar of a mighty, powerful river. Different streams are attached to this one big river – There are conservatives, patriots, traditionalist, liberals, and cosmopolitans, but they are all united by one powerful charge – they were born in a beautiful little cozy lovely country. In a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, where people have been fighting and defending their lives and land since ancient times, and here we are. We now also stand at a political crossroads. The nation makes its own decision. There is desire to break free from the orbit of the northern neighbor, to be closer to the European family, to achieve unity. I have the impression that we are constantly making decisions. This is a country with a rich and ancient culture and traditions. It can be a burden at times. Between generations, there is a bridge and… a broken bridge. The generation that lived in the Soviet Union is still alive, and some of them miss it. Young people are rushing ahead, toward Europe. There are still ardent supporters of Stalin here, and propaganda has distorted their mind qualitatively. The younger generation adequately analyzes the past. It learns the lessons of the past. If or when I see Pro-Russian statements, it makes me sad, confused, and scared. I‘m glad I‘m not observing this from youth.
„For me first of all development is education and availability of education. Free thinking and not putting anything or anyone in frames.“
„My grandmother was begging me every day to just remove piercings and also that I don‘t go to university bothers them a lot.“
„And as for the traditions I have mentioned soul of fighter, Georgians have lost it. Army shouldn‘t be shameful, army should be part of the elite and everyone who went to army should be privileged:“
I had several photo assignments in Georgia over the last years . This country with its ancient history, wedged between Russia and the Middle East and marking the extreme, wild edge of Europe, had grown close to my heart with its way of life. The break between traditional life in the Caucasian mountains and modern life in Tbilisi fascinated me. In 2020 I had an idea to do my own story about this. But because of pandemic I was able to realize it only in 2022, and instead of making it in the whole country, I decided to focus on Tbilisi only.
How do you grow up in a small country, which after a long history of Russian influence longs for Europe, but at the same time is somehow geographically distant from it? Where one of the oldest civilizations always had to defend itself or come to terms with its larger and stronger neighbours. Where sacred places and religious rituals seem to be so far from techno clubs in Tbilisi, or do they? There is hardly a country where the gap between tradition and modernity is greater.
My 25 protagonists talk about their dreams, interests and concerns. I have placed them in architectural environments that are not their homes, but have references to their history, forming a portrait of modern Tbilisi. Underlining their young and vivid lives, I staged them in coloured light in the minutes of Blue Hour, when natural and artificial lights perfectly blend.
The Photography reflects the mood after Russian invasion in Ukraine as in Georgia memories of Russian aggression are still vivid. Current events are again hitting hard on young Georgians, as Ukrainian and Russian refugees fleeing to the country are challenging their future.
„My grandma thinks that homosexuality is a disease and these people should be treated.“
„I think that family and career are both very important but I wouldn‘t give up my career for my family.“