Issue no: 1149
• MAY 10 - 13, 2019 • PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY
ON BUILDING PEACE On the forum 'SDG Generation: How to Turn Goals into Achievements' youth breaking stereotypes
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In this week’s issue... Machalikashvili Predicts His Detention over Alleged Plotting of Terror Attack NEWS PAGE 2
UN Workshop Focuses on Sustainable Development Goals POLITICS PAGE 4
Georgia, Stop Wasting Time! POLITICS PAGE 5
The Terroirist Wine Club
BUSINESS PAGE 6
New Dispute about Rustavi 2 TV Causes Mixed Reactions BY THEA MORRISON
new court dispute has been started against the opposition-minded Rustavi 2 TV by the owner of 9% of company shares, Nino Nizharadze, who is asking for GEL 26 million from the Director General and other shareholders for the “damage caused to the company.” The Director General of the TV channel, Nika Gvaramia, claims the authorities stand behind the lawsuit, adding this is a fight “against Georgian democracy and freedom of speech.” Gvaramia stressed that the government and the founder and Chair of the ruling party Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, wants the TV Company to be broken in order to “silence the critical voice.” He is sure the TV company will overcome the challenge, adding broadcasting has been switched to an emergency mode. This is not the first dispute against Rustavi 2 TV, which is often affiliated with the former ruling party, the United National Movement, established by ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. 91% shares of the company are owned by brothers Levan and Giorgi Karamanishvili. However, in 2015, Kibar Khalvashi, a former co-owner of
CULTURE PAGE 8
GWS Introduces a Refreshed Label for Its Premium Wine Brand TAMADA
CULTURE PAGE 9
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the TV channel, filed a lawsuit claiming his shares had been illegally taken from him by the UNM. In March 2017, after the case passed all the instances of the court system in the country, the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled in favor of Khalvashi and gave him the
David Kakabadze Exhibition Launched at TBC Gallery
total shares of the broadcaster. The following day, the European Court of Human Rights suspended enforcement of the verdict. Nino Nizharadze is a wife of the former director of the channel, Gogi Gegeshidze, who received the company's shares after Gegeshidze's death. Continued on page 5
International Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival Held for 18th Time in Georgia CULTURE PAGE 11
MAY 10 - 13, 2019
Machalikashvili Predicts His Detention over Alleged Plotting of Terror Attack BY THEA MORRISON
alkhaz Machalikashvili, father of 19-year-old Temirlan, who was killed during a special operation in Pankisi Gorge in 2017, thinks he will be soon arrested on charges of plotting a terror attack. The man denies the accusation and claims that if he is arrested, his wife will continue the protest rallies launched in May 2018 seeing tents set up in front of the Parliament Building in Tbilisi to demand a “fair investigation” of their son’s murder. “I demand the punishment of my son’s killer. This crime was committed by the State. They are doing their best to destroy me, but this will not happen,” Machalikashvili said, adding he has been using only legal ways to find justice. “I have been standing in the center of Tbilisi for nine months. If I pose a threat to the country, if I am a terrorist, why have not they detained me so far? They call me a terrorist due to the remarks I made in an emotional moment two months ago,” he explained. The State Security Service of Georgia (SSS) made a statement two days ago, saying their investigation had revealed Machalikashvili’s intent to murder several persons through organizing a terrorist act. The agency noted that a nephew of Machalikashvili, Moris Machalikashvili may have been involved in the implementation of the mentioned terrorist act.
“The investigation into the case has been launched on the basis of Malkhaz Machalikashvili’s public statement containing a threat on May 31, 2018, according to which he and the persons accompanying him made a vow to penetrate the building of the SSS and blow themselves up,” the statement says. The agency also released an audio recording of a phone conversation between Machalikashvili and his nephew. The SSS says evidence showed a terrorist act was planned in the Zemo Machkhaani village of the Dedophlistskaro region, at the grave of late father of Ioseb Gogashvili, former first deputy head of the State Security Service. The plot, if successful, would have injured or taken Gogashvili and others’ lives. “It is confirmed that on March 23, 2019, Malkhaz Machalikashvili himself instructed Moris Machalikashvili to abandon any other activities and work only on one person: Ioseb Gogashvili. Moris Machalikashvili was to identify the residential addresses of Ioseb Gogashvili, his travel routes, and he was tasked to travel to the cemetery in order to establish the location of the grave of Gogashvili’s father and take pictures, on the basis of which, Malkhaz Machalikashvili would have planned other activities,” the SSS says. Moris Machalikashvili has already been interrogated by the SSS regarding the case, while Malkhaz Machalikashvili refuses to show up for questioning. He says the recording is a fabrication and that he has not plotted anything. Ioseb Gogashvili also released a statement regarding the investigation, saying
Image source: ghn.ge
Machalikashvili is a “potential terrorist.” “The Prosecutor's Office should also pay attention to those people, politicians, NGO representatives, some pseudojournalists, who were deliberately preparing Malkhaz Machalikashvili to commit the crime,” said Gogashvili. He also noted that he is ready to cooperate with the investigation if needed, saying he was not leading the special operation in Pankisi Gorge in December 2017, when Temirlan Machalikashvili was shot. “I would like to thank the SSS for pre-
venting the crime during the preparation process ... Such actions are not unusual for Malkhaz Machalikashvili. He has ties with terrorist groups such as Chatayev’s group,” he said, referring to terrorist Ahmet Chatayev who was liquidated with his group by law enforcers in November 2017 in Tbilisi. Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze also commented on the recent developments, saying the SSS had managed to prevent a “grave crime” and noting that “the rest is up to the investigation.” “The evidence is being studied and it
will be followed by proper legal steps,” he added. Temirlan Machalikashvili was wounded in Duisi village in his own bed on December 26, 2017. On January 10, he died in hospital. Georgian law-enforcers claim that Machalikashvili was shot when he tried to detonate a grenade. However, the family and relatives say that he was sleeping when law-enforcers shot him without warning. The family also rejects the allegations that the deceased had links with Chatayev’s terrorist group.
Georgia Marks Victory Day over Fascism to pay tribute to their memory. And I want to wish health, happiness and prosperity to the veterans and their family members," he added. Tbilisi Mayor, Kakha Kaladze also congratulated war veterans on the Victory Day. “74 years have passed since the victory over Fascism. War heroes saved humanity from the Fascism by sacrificing their lives. I would like to wish our veterans long life and prosperity,” he said. Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-Day, was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces. The formal surrender of the German forces occupying the Channel Islands did not occur until the following day, 9 May 1945. It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.
BY THEA MORRISON
n May 9 Georgians mark the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany and the end of the Second World War (WWII). Representatives of the Georgian government, veterans and citizens gathered in Vake Park in central Tbilisi to put flowers on the monument of the "Unknown Soldier." Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze laid a wreath at the grave of the “Unknown Soldier” in the park, noting May 9 is a special day in the history of mankind. He wished health to the war veterans. "I want to congratulate everyone on this day, especially our veterans. Hundreds of thousands of Georgian heroes have fallen on the battlefield and I want
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MAY 10 - 13, 2019
UN Workshop Focuses on Sustainable Development Goals BY LUCY PAPACHRISTOU
ore than 70 representatives of the Georgian government and the United Nations (UN) team in Georgia gathered in Kachreti, in the eastern region of Kakheti, for a two-day workshop to identify “bottlenecks” and “accelerators” in the country’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global sustainable development agenda adopted by all UN member states in 2015. The SDGs, also known as Global Goals, are “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity,” according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the body in charge of implementing the goals by 2030. The 17 SDGs include ensuring quality education, reducing inequalities, providing clean water and sanitation and ending hunger. The workshop this week was opened by Kakha Kakhishvili, Head of the Government Administration and Chairman of the National SDG Council, and Louisa Vinton, who leads the UN Country Team in Georgia.
Photo Source: United Nations
“Georgia was a pioneer in translating the SDG framework into national strategies and in establishing a tructure for SDG implementation,” Kakhisvili said.
“This workshop gives us an opportunity to see how well we’re doing, what we should adjust to move faster and where Georgia might need assistance.”
Vinton added that Georgia’s “best prospects” concerning the SDGs are youth employment and rural development. Workshop participants discussed the
findings of a recent UN technical analysis conducted under the leadership of the UNDP which reviewed 55 different sectoral strategies and Georgia’s Association Agreement with the European Union to assess how well SDG targets are incorporated into national strategy, as well as how well national priority goals are funded. Overall the findings were positive: national policies cover fully 93 percent of SDG targets that Georgia has adopted as national priorities. The EU Association Agreement itself covers fully 63 percent of all SDG targets, underlining “a need for the refinement of sectoral strategies,” according to a press statement on the workshop released by the UNDP. In particular, alignment work is needed for four SDGs: gender equality; reduced inequalities; peace, justice and strong institutions; and partnerships for sustainable development. In terms of funding, some SDGs are significantly underfunded: while peace, education and infrastructure have larger budgets, poverty, gender equality and environmental protection and climate change receive more modest funding. Participants agreed that better data was needed to assess challenges to full SDG implementation by 2030 and measure progress along the way.
Far-right Groups Release Homophobic Comments in the Lead Up to Tbilisi Pride BY AMY JONES
he first pride event in Georgia, Tbilisi Pride, will be held June 18 - 23. The event hopes to raise awareness and spark healthy conversation about the LGBTQI community in Georgia. However, a traditionally conservative country, Georgia has a poor track record for protecting the human rights of its LGBTQI community. Previous gay rights events in Georgia have been met with difficulties. On 13 May 2013, LGBTQI rights demonstrators were violently confronted by anti-protestors as they demonstrated for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. The church and far-right groups played a key role in the event, with anti-protestors holding signs saying “We don’t need Sodom and Gomorrah in Georgia” and “Stop promoting homosexual propaganda in Georgia.” Some members in the LGBTQI community in Georgia fear that the organi-
zation of Pride will cause a surge in violence towards them. Indeed, Success Bar, Georgia’s first gay bar, reportedly plans to shut for the duration of Pride. As Tbilisi Pride draws nearer, the farright in Georgia has begun to spread homophobic rhetoric once more. Since the event was announced at the beginning of March, homophobic comments have become more prevalent on social media pages of anti-western, right-wing groups. For example, Georgian March, a farright group described as a neo-nazi organization by Transparency International Georgia, released a Facebook video threatening to sabotage the event. They claim in the video that the only way the “celebration of perversion” would take place would be if the activists “march over Georgian March’s dead bodies,” reported Eto Buziashvili, a researcher at the Digital Forensic Research Lab. Similarly, other groups have posted homophobic content since March. Kardhu, a popular anti-western group with over 25,000 online followers, has posted homophobic content frequently, such as underlining Poland’s same-sex
marriage ban. A newly created group, the Antiliberal League, also shared memes that were anti-LGBTQ whilst the Anti-Liberal Club, a group with over 50,000 followers, highlighted how the US is too lenient towards LGBTQI rights. From January to April 2019, many rightwing groups increased their number of followers. Right-wing groups Kardhu, Alt-Info and Anti-Liberal Club increased their followers by 1,700, 4,500 and 522 respectively, reported Eto Buziashvili. Georgia has considered discrimination against the LGBTQI community and a person’s sexual orientation to be a criminal offense since 2014. Nonetheless, traditional orthodox views hold a strong grip on public opinion. In 2013, the antidemonstration was organized following comments by church leaders. Organizers of this year’s Tbilisi Pride
want to move away from the cycle of violence that has surrounded proLGBTQI events in Georgia. The five-day event will take place in June rather than on 17 May, as it has done in previous years. In addition, various talks will be held to raise awareness and spark healthy conversation. Georgia’s violent track record towards the LGBTQI community demonstrates the need for the conversation that Tbilisi Pride hopes to encourage. However, it is essential that its supporters are sufficiently protected to avoid the violence of previous events. With such ingrained beliefs, it is a difficult topic in Georgia. However, public attitudes may begin to change thanks to awareness events such as Tbilisi Pride. Bidzina Ivanishvili once said, “sexual minorities are the same citizens as we are... society will gradually get used to it.”
GEORGIA TODAY MAY 10 - 13, 2019
Georgia, Stop Wasting Time!
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OP-ED BY NUGZAR B. RUHADZE
ne of the most outstanding characteristic features of a civilized society, as I understand, must be a sense of priority; in other words, the ability to do first things first. I am far from peddling the moralistic agendum at this time, but I am just as removed from being indifferent to what this country is faced with and what its people feel like. This introduction to the main issue is made so surreptitiously only because I am loath to sound overly unnerved and irate. The world knows us Georgians, if it knows us at all, as talented and industrious people; we facetiously describe ourselves as talented but lazy; God perceived the Geor-
gians as merry-making folks who even missed the event of distributing lands among nations by the He who was eventually compelled to cede His own piece of terrain in favor of the Georgians. Yet, the reality persistently carves our image as a people not using our talent, knowledge and energy to the fullest possible extent, especially the young. Looking around with wide-open eyes, I see a lot of utilizable time wasted on doing things not of the highest preference for the nation. Let us now throw in a couple of paradigms, corroborating my dismaying idea of our behavioral model in terms of aligning the priorities in the most practicable way: ideology matters and politics is important, but a piece of bread is more indispensable to staying alive, so the priority has to be given to the latter. Time is not appreciated duly in this
society and is not even shortlisted on the roster of priorities; for instance, we waste an unimaginable amount of time on things like wakes and funerals and building opulent graveyards and taking much better care of the dead than of the living; we cruise in our cars idly, often wasting a crazy amount of time and gas on nothing; we party at festive tables for long hours, listening to interminable, boring and not-very-wise toasts; we practically live in traffic jams, political rallies and demonstrations, in endless television discussions, in facebook narcissism and altercations; we stand casually alfresco in towns and villages, waiting for something to happen; we spend hours on end in frenzied debates about the unbearable life the governments have been creating for us since Adam was a boy; in short, we refuse to control time, which certainly knows how to fly. What gives, folks?! While we drag our feet in angry daydreaming, having no idea of priorities and preferences that need to be conjugated with the god-given time of our life, other civilized nations are handling the problem of my concern with smarts and acumen, building their future without wasting a second. They are aware of the brutal and irretrievable truth that good is created only in time, which has to be equaled with the value of money. And money could be made anytime in any country by anybody, if that body is capable of thinking. Yes, thinking plus action! And the longer you’re not taking action, the more money you’re losing (not my wisdom)! Talent also means a lot, but talent, without a framework based on a properly-built array of priorities, is a squandered treasure. Finally, if my daring and earnest attempt to give this modest heads-up to the nation very apologetically makes any sense on earth, why don’t we take the bull by the horns and learn the art of handling priorities and arrange them in time so shrewdly that things start working and the lasting poisoning gabble about nonsense fades?
New Dispute about Rustavi 2 TV Causes Mixed Reactions Continued from page 1 She denies any political grounds for her suit and threatens to sue Gvaramia for defamation.
WHAT DO THE PRESIDENT, THE GOVERNMENT AND THE RULING GD THINK? The President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, believes that freedom of speech is protected and guaranteed by the Constitution. “Accordingly,alllegalresourcesandmeans will be used to ensure that freedom of speech is protected in the country,” pressspeaker Khatia Moistsrapishvili stated. Vice-Prime Minister and the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Maia Tskitishvili said Rustavi 2 is trying to act as if they are being attacked. “Rustavi 2 has been reporting attacks against them but… There is no attack and this is again another attempt to mislead our citizens as well as the international community,” she said. Ruling Georgian Dream (GD) parliamentary majority leader Archil Talakvadze believes Rustavi 2 operates freely and without any hindrance, adding the statement of Gvaramia that the TV channel might be shut down is “disinformation.”
“The existence of critical media, free media and independent activities of journalists are the values and standards our government has provided,” he added.
WHAT DOES THE OPPOSITION SAY? European Georgia member Sergi Kapanadze says it is unacceptable for Ivanishvili to try to silence free media in the country. He noted that the party has launched consultations with Rustavi 2 and others regarding the issue. Meanwhile, the United National Movement says that this is a “new wave of the attack on the broadcaster from the authorities.” Party member Grigol Vashadze stated that the government wants to “take revenge” on the television channel. “Ivanishvili's regime wants to confront the public, strengthen the persecution of the opposition and try to suppress free speech…We, the whole political spectrum, will defend the TV station and will not let the government transform the country into the Russian Federation,” Vashadze claimed. The leader of the Democratic Movement, ex-Speaker of the parliament Nino Burjanadze also blames Ivanishvili for the recent developments. She says Ivan-
ishvili is fighting not only against “proWestern media and forces,” as stated by Gvaramia, but “everyone who does not obey him.”
THE POSITION OF THE NONGOVERNMENTAL SECTOR The NGOs have released a joint statement regarding the new dispute, saying the process raises questions. “Rustavi 2, one of the most influential broadcasters, critical of the government, has been facing the threat of editorial policy change for several years. Opinions about the editorial policy of Rustavi 2 may vary, but the existence of critical and diverse media platforms is crucial for a pluralistic media environment,” the organizations said. 13 NGOs say the new legal dispute hampers the work of the broadcaster; moreover, it threatens media pluralism and the free media environment in the country. “The potential shift in Rustavi 2’s editorial policy will definitely have a negative impact on the 2020 pre-election period and the entire democratic process,” they say, adding that for a transitional democracy like Georgia, it is vital to adhere to the high standard of freedom of speech and expression, which is feasible only in a pluralistic media environment.
MAY 10 - 13, 2019
The Terroirist Wine Club WHAT IS YOUR MISSION? AND WHAT DOES YOUR NAME MEAN? The mission is to learn about wine, learn about some regions of the worlds and understand the potential of Georgian wine. Terroir means ‘place’ in French and refers to where the grapes are growing. Because we focus a lot on explaining why the soil and location of vineyards are important for the taste, we choose this name. For example, why a Cabernet Sauvigon from Bordeaux is different from a Cabernet Sauvignon from Kakheti.
WHO IS THE TERROIRIST TEAM? Terroirist is run by myself and [Swedish expat] Ilja Stenberg, the owner of the hotel where we do the tasting. I’m a French winemaker, I started my winery, Ori Marani in Igeoti, [in the] Kartli [region of Georgia]. I studied winemaking and viticulture in Burgundy, France, for five years. I like to teach about wine and meet people! I come from a grape growing family in Champagne, France. Here in Georgia, I started a small artisanal winery called Ori Marani with my wife. We make sparkling wines, white, rosé and red. Made in Qvevris [traditional Georgian clay wine
pots] and old French oak barrels.
SO, HOW DO WE JOIN THE TERROIRIST WINE CLUB? Every month from January until May, we gather at Ilja’s Hotel. Attendance is limited to 15 people, so contact us on our Facebook page if you are interested. The cost is 50 Lari per person. We taste five wines, paired with small snacks (cheese, bread, etc.). In the future, we plan to maybe invite other Georgian winemakers to share their wines with people. Club members are mostly expats: Swedish, German, South African, and a few Georgians, ranging from 20 - 60 years old. We’re very diverse.
GEORGIA IS, OF COURSE, THE COUNTRY OF WINE. WHY DID YOU THINK TBILISI NEEDED SOMETHING LIKE TERROIRIST? Just the fact that we focus a lot on wines that are made with minimal intervention; that we talk about the origin of the wine and explain a little bit about winemaking. Most people who drink wine don’t know how wine is made. The goal of the club is pedagogic, and people learn a lot about wine. Georgian wines are special; I love that they are a reflection of the people who make them.
Image source: Ori Marani
BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE
rench transplant Bastien Warskotte came to Georgia in 2014 in a story many expats know all too well: for the love of a Georgian woman. In 2017, he started the Ori Marani winery with his
wife Nino Gvantseladze, which has now branched into one of Tbilisi’s only wine clubs. GEORGIA TODAY had the opportunity to chat with Warskotte about The Terroirist Wine Club this week.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE WINE CLUB? The wine club is a group of people (around 20) that gather during a wine
tasting. Our tasting takes place at Ilja’s hotel [in Tbilisi’s old town]. We compare a wine region of the world with Georgian wines that are similar in style. There is always 20 minutes of explanation and information about the wine region we are talking about, viticulture and winemaking: how grapes are grown and how wine is made. Then we do a tasting for about an hour and a half.
US-China Trade War Enters Final Stage on May 8. "So they're flying in, the vice premier tomorrow is flying in — good man — but they broke the deal. They can't do that, so they'll be paying." The China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said on Wednesday that working out disagreements over trade was a “process of negotiation” and that China was not “avoiding problems.”
LAST CHANCE AND WORLD ECONOMY
Image source: ft.com/Reuters
BY EMIL AVDALIANI
ast Friday, May 3, the diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington with massive changes to a 150-page draft trade agreement between
the US and China, that both countries, the world’s two largest economies, have been discussing for months. The talks follow a trade war between Washington and Beijing from the time Trump became President. As said, some fundamental changes were made by the Chinese side in the draft agreement which angered the
Americans, who have been accusing the Chinese of numerous actions, such as continuous theft of American intellectual property and trade secrets. The first US official reaction to the Chinese edits was Trump’s twitter statement: "By the way, you see the tariffs we're doing? Because they broke the deal. They broke the deal," he tweeted
Washington awaits Chinese negotiators, including Vice Premier Liu He, one of China’s top economic officials and a close confidant of the country’s president, Xi Jinping. Still many believe that differences are so wide between the states that an agreement is unlikely to be reached. As a sign of heightened tensions, Trump suggested that his government would impose higher tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday morning. The almost total breakdown of the USChina negotiations sent shocks through the global stock markets, bonds and commodities this week. Companies that would be affected by a tariff increase on Friday span a range of industries, from seafood and fertilizers to handbags and copper alloys. Various US industry associations said on Wednesday that since
there are uncertainties over whether there will be tariffs, numerous contingency plans are now being reviewed to salvage the companies from the worst. Indeed, global uncertainty has already been in play as in China both the Shanghai composite and Shenzhen component declined more than 1.3% each by Thursday. The Shenzhen composite fell 1.033%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 1.95%. Japan's Nikkei 225 was lower by about 1% and the Topix index slipped 1.21%. Shares of automaker Honda Motor fell more than 4% despite the company forecasting a 6% increase in operating profit for the current fiscal year. South Korea's Kospi shed 1.61% as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix plunged more than 4%. This shows how vulnerable the global economy is to China-US tensions and how pivotal these two states are to the existing world order. Still, a partial breakdown of the trade negotiations is a sign of fundamental differences and deep mistrust between Washington and Beijing over how the world economy should run and how Eurasian geopolitics should play out. Even if an agreement is reached, it is likely that confrontations over other trade-related issues between the states will happen in the future.
GEORGIA TODAY MAY 10 - 13, 2019
Youth 2250: Promoting Peace through Service
Photo: Lika Torikashvili
BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE
he United Nations prioritizes the participation of young people in decisionmaking processes as part of the UN agenda on youth. One of the key forms of youth participation at the UN is the youth delegate program. The program encourages the inclusion of youth delegates into a member country’s official UN delegation. While the program is coordinated at the UN level, member states run their own internal processes to select youth delegates to send to New York. Each country also determines the roles that their youth delegate will play, but most advise and consult their delegation on issues related to youth and participate in the general support work of attending meetings and informal negotiations. The youngest of the current Georgian
youth delegates is 21-year-old Lika Torikashvili, selected in August of last year. Torikashvili, as a full member of the Georgian delegation, takes part in the events and committee hearings of the General Assembly. The Georgian youth delegate program is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Torikashvili had an impressive resume even before being selected to join the UN delegation. She runs the non-profit project Paint the World, Gauperade Samkaro, which she founded in 2012 with the idea to unite young people with diverse cultural backgrounds through community service. Paint the World is the leader of Peace Week, an annual project that promotes diversity, tolerance, inclusion, and, of course, peace. This year, Torikashvili spearheaded the International Peace Conference ‘Youth 2250,’ which was held in Tbilisi last week. United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 outlines the key role that youth has to play in peace building and
peace negotiations. Torikashvili’s vision is for Georgia’s youth to be the facilitator of a peace meeting between young leaders from Georgia, Israel, Pakistan, Malaysia and Panama. The main idea of the peace project “Youth 2250” is to unite youth from conflicting countries through volunteerism. “The initial idea is to unite Muslim, Jewish and Christian young people, as well as young people from countries in conflict,” explains Torikashvili. “While in Georgia, participants will get to know each other, make friends, get to know Georgia and our culture, and most importantly, volunteer in local centers for people with disabilities, as well as elderly shelters. The idea will be to unite youth from the countries in conflict with one goal: to do good for the local community.” The concept is to bring together young people from different cultures and faith traditions, “who wouldn’t normally mix, socially or otherwise,” to work, travel, and learn together. Participants will gain tools to fight prejudice, confront stereotypes, and reject extreme ideologies. Israel’s Youth Delegate to the UN participated in the project, along with Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan from Pakistan, who were hit by Taliban bullets on a Pakistani school bus in 2012 in the same attack that severely injured Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai. Through the ‘Youth 2250’ project, Torikashvili and her team delivered lectures on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to young people in various parts of Georgia. In the framework of the Peace Project, Torikashvili organized a forum on SDG5, Gender Equality, called ‘SDG Generation: How to turn goals into achievements.’ The forum hosted 10 successful women from different backgrounds, who talked about their stories and gender inequality issues they faced on their road to success. “The main idea of the forum was to break gender related stereotypes and show young Georgians that if you have a goal, nothing is impossible,” says Torikashvili. Ramzan and Riaz were the keynote
speakers of the forum, along with Karen Sudre, Israel's Youth Representative to the UN, and Aziza Azizanan, the founder of Paint the World in Malaysia. The participants also met with the Prime Minister of Georgia and the Vice Speaker of the Israeli Parliament Knesset, Yehiel Hilik Bar. Torikashvili explains, “It was an unprecedented meeting of the Lebanese, Pakistani and Malaysian young people with the Member of Israeli Parliament, where Mr. Bar presented his vision of the solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict; we all discussed the solution which was suggested, and even agreed on some aspects of it- a very big deal when we are taking about youth from countries which do not even have any diplomatic relationships with each other. And the fact that those conversations and this Peace Meeting happened in Georgia is a huge achievement.”
Torikashvili shared a specific moment of the event with GEORGIA TODAY: “After the discussions, Aziza, who is very passionate about the Palestinians and their rights, went to Mr. Bar and gave him a hug. She said, ‘Mr.Bar, all this time I thought that Israel was a monster. All this time I thought that you do not care about the Palestinians. But now, after I heard you speak, I realized that it is actually possible to make peace with Israel. And I will, as a future politician, do my best to make that happen.’ The fact that this peace meeting fostered that kind of a conversation is already a sign of success towards SDG16: Peace.” The project was supported by the Israel-Georgia Chamber of Commerce in the scope of Israel Week. Torikashvili has a youthful, optimistic message: “Peace in the world begins in Georgia. And we, the youth of Georgia, will facilitate this process!”
Aziza Aznizan (Malaysian) and Lika Torikashvili (The Youth Delegate of Georgia to the UN) with Mr. Bar, the Vice Speaker of the Knesset
Factory Fencing: Etseri, Svaneti BLOG BY TONY HANMER
he time had come. After several years’ waiting, planting little annual veggie gardens but leaving them unprotected should bovines or porcines break through the barriers around our land, I was about to make an interior fence. This time, using bought but as yet unused rolls of diagonally assembled wire. I called a neighbor whose Russian lodger was available as a helping hand when needed; Sergo and I worked well together. First, we replaced some normal, wire-and-picket fencing a few meters long where it had fallen into chaos near the barn and replaced another small section of the same kind elsewhere, the wires of which had been mysteriously… cut. Who means us this kind of malice? I had to wonder. A 4-legged break-in could quickly lead to devastation wrought upon our plantings. And they are oh so cunning, these animals. Then, the main event. We used my new electric chainsaw (meaning that with electricity free here I was running it for nothing) to cut new posts from nice hard lengths of supposed firewood which would serve better in this repurposed role. Trimmed one end of each to a point with the axe, to hammer it easier into the ground, still damp and soft enough from the snow’s recent melt, before the summer sun would come and harden it
much too much. Then we used a straight steel crowbar to punch conical holes in the earth. Hung a tight string between the start and end points of the new fence to achieve a straight line, consulting with my wife for position, door location, and other points on which she must agree. Pounded in the new fence posts first, using a sledgehammer, finishing by beating the ground around each to harden it as well. Then we started unravelling the first roll of actual fencing, and finally at this moment the interesting job of its making at a factory in Zugdidi became clear. There are two things about such fencing, one of which is simply the nature of the beast you have to be patient with, live with and not lose your temper over. This is the way that both ends of it tend to grab onto anything they can as you unroll it, especially your clothing and more of its own self. You just have to go slowly until the whole thing is stretched out between two of you, unhooking it from yourself and itself as you go, then carefully maneuver it into position at the start post and end position, however far away that is, stretched nice and taut to prevent further snarls. The other thing is that you might have fencing which obviously came from a maker who Just Doesn’t Care. This becomes evident when you see that, instead of a nice perfect rectangle when unrolled, you have something whose top and bottom edges jump up and down by as much as 5 or 8 diamond lengths. This is entirely invisible in the rolled-up form, and glaringly visible once you open it out
fully. You can either spend maybe an hour or three curling each improper vertical length around and around in spirals until all line up properly, or you can just leave it, live with it. As the fence is only a few hours old now, I haven’t yet decided if I have the patience and need the perfection of the sorting out, or if I CAN live with it. The days ahead will tell. Then, secure one end to the starting post with a few nails hammered in and bent over along its height. Keep doing this at each successive post, your work partner holding the far end tight to head off any more self-catching, until you’re done. Repeat with the next and successive rolls until your whole perimeter is enclosed. Bend over the offending top edge’s wires tomorrow so they can’t snag onto anything else and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Easy with two people, close to impossible alone, and very satisfying when completed, despite that jagged edge which might nag too much or, conversely and better, might fail to affect your desire for geometric regularity. In any case, the cows and pigs are Thwarted… for now. Tony Hanmer has lived in Georgia since 1999, in Svaneti since 2007, and been a weekly writer for GT since early 2011. He runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with nearly 2000 members, at www.facebook.com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/ He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri: www.facebook.com/hanmer.house.svaneti
MAY 10 - 13, 2019
David Kakabadze Exhibition Launched at TBC Gallery BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA
he TBC Gallery, a project of TBC Bank aimed at the promotion of Georgian culture and its presentation to wider audiences, along with the David Kakabadze Foundation, is offering yet another incredible exhibition to the public. On May 8, an exposition dedicated to the 130th anniversary since the birth of one of the most outstanding figures of Georgia’s contemporary art history, artist, scientist, inventor and one among the founding fathers of Georgian modernism, David Kakabadze, was launched at the TBC Gallery. The exhibition is the starting point of a large-scale, multi-stage project carried out by the Bank and the David Kakabadze Foundation. Visitors have a chance to discover various unique materials from the artist’s family archives, including sketches, notes, documents and drafts, among a number of mesmerizing works by Kakabadze, embellishing the walls of the Gallery. David Kakabadze was distinguished for his interest in arts as well as the sciences. He was interested in medieval Georgian art, ethnography, the Renaissance, Chinese and Japanese art, cubism, futurism, and other movements. His outlook combined tradition and new information into a single context. His art represents both Oriental and Western values, which makes his work especially significant in light of the Georgian identity. However, aside from painting, he was very enthusiastic about research and discoveries. The name
of Kakabadze is connected with numerous artistic and scientific initiatives launched in Georgia and France. He worked on electro-technical experiments, creating a stereo-cinematic apparatus and refining the means of expression in cinema. Electronic illumination and rays of light held a primary place in these experiments. Kakabadze was the first to speak about the synthesis of art and production; in this context, he created abstract pieces, collages and Stalin’s three-dimensional (3D) light art. All of this was very much in the minds of the organizers of the current project. Thus, the exhibition at TBC Gallery is not a traditional display of works of an artist, having been launched in a way that it brings together art and science and presents a balanced and interesting integration of two absolutely different realms in one area. Its diversity represents Kakabadze as researcher, scientist and a figure with a clear national identity. The digital structure of the exhibition hall gives new life to the original works of the artist and introduces a great opportunity for art enthusiasts to see the heritage left by the prominent Georgian artist in new forms. The exposition features numerous collections of the artist, preserved in different foundations countrywide. Four of his works, protected at the National Museum of Georgia, have been brought to the public eye with the help of TBC Insurance (Tbcinsurance.ge), which has insured the paintings in accordance with the highest international standards. The exhibition carries significant messages and, based on a study of Kakabadze’s archives, aims to methodologically cover history and activate new narratives.
Rioni Power Station (1931). Source: kweiseye.wordpress.com
The project, devoted to Kakabadze’s jubilee, boasts a cycle of cultural events, as well as an educational program, to take place throughout the year. From May 18, the TBC Art Gallery will host a multimedia project within the scope of which young artists Nikoloz Kapanadze, Mariam Akulashvili and Dimitri Shubitidze, inspired by Kakabadze’s works, will create audiovisual, spatial installations for exploration of light interaction.
A catalogue is also being launched as part of the project on May 18, which presents Kakabadze as a researcher and integrates the investigations of research groups, as well as new visions. On May 17-20 the scientific works of David Kakabadze will be exposed at Expo Georgia within the Tbilisi Art Fair (TAF). Project 12 – the TBC art platform, is yet another part of the anniversary series. In the exhibition hall located on Rustaveli
Avenue, the works and studies launched during the projects will be on display for three months. Within the framework of the project, the David Kakabadze Foundation is to launch an archive, integrating already existing documents with the new materials created during the anniversary of the artist. The Foundation aspires to digitalize all the artefacts related to the name of Kakabadze and thus facilitate public access to his works.
GEORGIA TODAY MAY 10 - 13, 2019
GWS Introduces a Refreshed Label for Its Premium Wine A Brand TAMADA
New Photography Exhibition Explores the Lives of Georgian Women
BY LUCY PAPACHRISTOU
BY MARIAM DIASAMIDZE
he Georgian Wines and Spirits Company (GWS), one of the oldest and best-known producers of handpicked wines in Georgia and a constant provider of high quality products, is excited to launch a refreshed label for its premium wine TAMADA. The new label will be available on the market from June and reflects the further refinement of the quality of exquisite wine TAMADA. The company’s Brand Manager Salome Dolidze explains the rationale behind the refreshed packaging: “Two years ago, we introduced the premium collection of TAMADA wines: Grand Reserve and Qvevri. One of the reasons we initiated the refreshment for the entire TAMADA range was to align it with the design of the newer lines of Grand Reserve and Qvevri. We also wanted the new label to represent a refinement of the taste and standards of the TAMADA wines. With the new design, the label looks more modern and fresh, but keeps the emphasis on tradition and brand values. The new label packaging once again links art and Pirosmani and enhances its design.” With the upgrade, wine lovers can now enjoy TAMADA from a bottle that further highlights one of the treasures of Georgian culture, the famous painting The Feast of Five Princes (1906) of Niko Pirosmani. The painting by Pirosmani portrays the Georgian feast “supra” that is traditionally lead by a toastmaster “tamada,” who is bestowed with the duty of raising toasts and leading the festivity. TAM-
ADA wine, like its namesake, grants a sense of unity at the table and encourages the art of sharing emotions, which is at the core of the brand and serves as its tagline. In addition to this brand story, the wine itself carries an interesting history of its own. The great majority of TAMADA vineyards are 15 years old, up to 25 years for some parcels and appellations. Since 2015, TAMADA has been awarded 59 medals, including seven double gold, and ten gold medals, in national and international competitions. GWS offers 18 different varieties of TAMADA, vintage and AOC wines. All the exquisite grapes for TAMADA are hand-picked from the GWS terroirs to deliver this finest wine of Georgia. The new design of the label will better portray the history of the brand and the refinement of the taste. The design will be reflected on bottles and all POS materials. The back label will also be reworked with a new storytelling approach, accompanied with a map of Georgia and signature of the Winemaker and CEO of GWS- Philippe Lespy. Even the quality of wine corks and label papers will be upgraded to better match the premium nature of the brand.
ABOUT GWS For more than 20 years, GWS has been one of the leading businesses in Georgia and worldwide. GWS produces around four million bottles of premium wines, made exclusively from its own vineyards, 100% of the harvest being hand-picked. In the last few years, GWS was awarded with up to 160 awards and distinctions by prominent national and international competitions. The high profile of the wines from GWS are fueled by the quality of its vineyards and the know-how of the team.
new photography exhibition coordinated by an American Fulbright Fellow in Georgia explores the lives of ordinary Georgian women through images. Ten ordinary Georgian women ranging in age from 17 to 55 and from different regions of the country were brought together under the project to explore Georgian culture from their unique, personal perspectives. Nine of the women chose photography as their medium. The project is supported by the US Embassy and Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA). At the exhibition opening on Wednesday evening, Julius Cai, the Cultural Attaché of the US Embassy to Georgia, applauded the project director, Misty Brodiaea Springer, for bringing these women together. Cai said that the United States and Springer share a vision for an inclusive Georgian society along gender lines. Cultural exchange, or “people-to-people exchange,” as Cai called it, “achieves things impossible to achieve in other spheres.” “‘The essence of intercultural education is the acquisition of empathy—the ability to see the world as others see it, and to allow for the possibility that others may see something we have failed to see, or may see it more accurately,’” Cai said, quoting US Senator James William Fulbright, who created the Fulbright Program in 1946. Springer came to Georgia initially in 2017 to conduct research on human trafficking as part of her master’s program in the United States. She returned to Georgia as a Fulbright Fellow for 2018-2019, and is currently working on an ethnography about food and women’s relationship to food, which she plans to turn into a book. Through various connections, she was introduced to local Georgian women across the country and was invited into their homes to learn how to cook traditional dishes. Talking with these women over
Photo Source: Own work
their kitchen tables, Springer established personal connections with them and was subsequently introduced individually to the women who later participated in the photography project. The photographs, some 27 of them, are arranged in several groupings; the photographs in each grouping seek to answer a prompt provided by Springer. The prompts took the form of questions: “How do you see yourself?”; “What makes you angry? What does your anger look like?”; “As a woman, what do you feel excluded from?”, and several more. The names of the photographers are not attached to their works, as some women may not have felt safe otherwise, Springer explained. The photographs in the exhibition examine “the razor’s edge between modernity and what [the photographers’] mothers’ and grandmothers’ lives looked like,” Springer told GEORIGA TODAY. One blackand-white photograph, taken by Keti Tushmalishvili from the western region of Guria, depicts the photographer, a young, modern women educated abroad, standing in the living room of her family home. She is surrounded by antique furniture, old photographs and religious icons; a massive traditional carpet hangs on the wall, looming. The subject faces an empty cradle, a potential foreshadowing of her future role as mother and wife. Another photograph answering the question, “What makes you angry?”, depicts a woman in the process of dressing, her naked shoulder exposed, as she is being photographed with a cellphone camera through her bedroom window. The photographer, Ia Tchelidze, told GEORGIA TODAY that the photograph was inspired by her feeling that, “in Georgia, everyone is watching you.” The exhibition is open to public from May 9 to 14 at the Moxy Hotel on Saarbrucken Square in Tbilisi.
MAY 10 - 13, 2019
WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATER
TBILISI ZAKARIA PALIASHVILI OPERA AND BALLET THEATER 25 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 04 56 May 11 ROMEO AND JULIET Sergei Prokofiev Ballet in Two Acts Based on the tragedy by William Shakespeare Libretto, choreographic version and staging by Mikhail Lavrovsky Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 10-100 GEL SHALIKASHVILI THEATER 37 Rustaveli Ave. May 10 HOST AND GUEST Based on Vazha Pshavela’s poem Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20 GEL GABRIADZE THEATER 13 Shavtelis St. TEL (+995 32) 2 98 65 93 May 10 RAMONA Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30 GEL May 11 THE AUTUMN OF MY SPRINGTIME Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30 GEL May 14 Animated documentary film REZO Directed by Leo Gabriadze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL MOVEMENT THEATER 182 Aghmashenebeli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 598 19 29 36 May 11 INTRO Sandro Nikoladze's Musical Alegry Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-15 GEL
May 12 SILENT, REHEARSAL! One-act spectacle that is behind the scenes. Performance consists of various short novels: "Good Morning", "Cinemat", "Welcome-Host", "Shirley Beis", "Painter", "Bohemian Rhapsody" Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-15 GEL May 16 DIVINE COMEDY Dante Aligieri Directed by Ioseb Bakuradze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL MUSIC & DRAMA STATE THEATER 182 Agmashenebeli Ave. May 14 WELCOME TO GEORGIA The Musical A musical, theatrical play and romantic comedy telling a story about Georgia and its people by combining song, dance, culture, traditions, history, national costumes and local cuisine. Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 50-80 GEL MUSEUM
GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM 3 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 299 80 22, 293 48 21 www.museum.ge Exhibitions: NUMISMATIC TREASURY EXHIBITION STONE AGE GEORGIA ARCHEOLOGICAL TREASURE NEW LIFE TO THE ORIENTAL COLLECTIONS 150 years after the first exhibition of Natural History Museum EXHIBITION- CAUCASUS BIODIVERSITY GEORGIAN COSTUME AND WEAPONRY OF THE 18TH-20TH CENTURIES WISDOM TRANSFORMED INTO GOLD MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION 4 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge
Exhibition RED TERROR AND GEORGIAN ARTISTS The exhibition showcases artworks by Dimitri Shevardnadze, Petre Otskheli, Henryk Hryniewski, Richard Sommer, Kiril Zdanevich, Vasily Shukhaev, Elene Akhvlediani, Lado Gudiashvili, David Kakabadze, Ucha Japharidze, Aleksandre Bajbeuk-Melikov, Korneli Sanadze and more. MUSEUM OF ILLUSIONS 10 Betlemi Str. Discover the Museum of Illusions Be brave enough to jump into an illusion created by the Vortex, deform the image of yourself in the Mirror Room, let yourself free in the Infinity room, fight the laws of gravity and size ratio, and take pictures of yourself in every possible pose. Enjoy our collection of holograms, look closer at every optical illusion and observe thoroughly each installation. Tickets: 17.5 GEL, Children (ages 6-18): 11 GEL, children (under 5 years): free, students: 13 GEL, family (2 adults + 2 children): 39 GEL. MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS 10 Betlemi Str. THE MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS The unique collection of the museum aims to provoke feelings of understanding among individuals and serve as some kind of therapy for those who have experience break-ups. EXPERIMENTORIUM KIDS’ SCIENCE MUSEUM 17 P. Ingorokva Str, Tbilisi TEL (+995 32) 2 47 57 37 Enjoy around 80 exhibits showcasing the laws of physics, biology, mathematics and anatomy, all of which kids can touch and examine for themselves. GALLERY
NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION XIX – XX CENTURY Until May 27 Georgian National Museum and Italian embassy in Georgia present the exhibition ESOTERIC DE CHIRICO. A TRAVELER BETWEEN TWO WORLDS The exhibition showcases 15 artworks of Giorgio de Chirico between 1920-1970, clearly showing that even his most “natural” artwork hints at the surrealist world. KOLGA TBILISI PHOTO May 4-27 Kunsthalle Tbilisi and GoetheInstitute Georgia present TABULA RASA An exhibition of stainless steel sculptures by Gabriela Von Habsburg. Exhibition includes works by: Giorgi Geladze, Salome Chigilashvili, Liza Tsindeliani, Giorgi Vardiashvili Curated by: Irena Popiashvili Venue: GNM Courtyard, 3 Shota Rustaveli Ave. May 5-12 GRAZIANO ARICI- TALES OF VENICE Curator: Tina Shelhorn VIGEN VARTANOV- IMMERSION INTO THE WORLD OF IMAGES TALES OF ISTALNDS – Kate Mellor, Osamu James Nakagawa, Studio Marc Räder, Sanne De Wilde/ NOOR Curator: Tina Shelhorn Opening: 19:00 Venue: I. Grishashvili Tbilisi History Museum (Karvasla), 8 Sioni Str. PLANET OR PLASTIC? Opening: 19:00 Organizer: National Geographic Magazine Georgia Venue: S. Janashia Museum of Georgia, 3 Sh. Rustaveli Ave. MUSIC
THE NATIONAL GALLERY 11 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 215 73 00
REPUBLIC 1st Republic Sq.
Until February 26 (2020) GRAND MASTERS FROM THE GEORGIAN
May 10 Republic and “Club Iveria” present: ASSA BY GEORGIAN NATIONAL
BALLET SUKHISHVILI, IKA (Small Moves / Future Funktion), DANIEL BERHANE Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 40-200 GEL SIONI 13 8 Sioni Str. May 11 NODARIKO KHUTSISHVILI LIVE PERFORMANCE Piano- David Kakulia Bass- Simon Bitadze Drums- Giorgi Gorgiashvili Percussion- Irakli Menagharishvili Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 15 GEL BACKSTAGE76 Vake Park May 11 LIGHT NIGHT JAM Artists: Dj sagol, Q Art Valley, Astrobee Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 15 GEL KAKHIDZE MUSIC CENTER 123a D. Agmashenebeli Ave. May 11 CONCERT OF VOCAL SEXTET ‘THE GEORGIAN SIX’ AND TBILISI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Under the baton of Maestro Vakhtang Kakhidze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20-40 GEL TBILISI STATE CONSERVATOIRE 8 Griboedov Str. May 11 TBILISI CHORAL MUSIC IX INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL CLOSING GALA: The Luebeck Academy of Music Students Choir, The Albion College Briton Singers, The Gori Women Chamber Choir, The Tbilisi Women Choir, The Youth Mixed Choir “Tutarchela”, The Boys Choir “Mdzlevari”, The G. Kurashvili State Abkhazian Capella and other Georgian Choirs, Pieces of Georgian and European Composers Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 5-15 GEL May 15 The 80th Anniversary of the famous Georgian violinistKONSTANTIN VARDELI Participants: the students of the Maestro Vardeli and Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Nikoloz Rachveli Program: Johann Sebastian Bach, Vivaldi, Ernest Chausson, Saint-Saens, Felix Mendelssohn Start time: 19:30 Ticket: 10-35 GEL May 16 CONCERT OF THE TBILISI ZAKARIA PALIASHVILI CENTRAL MUSIC SCHOOL FOR GIFTED CHILDREN Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 5-15 GEL UHBAN 164 Agmashenebeli Ave. May 11 W:O:A METAL BATTLE CAUCASUS 2019- FINAL CONFIRMED BANDS: I Killed The Devil [ge], Goat Ripper [az], Ildaruni [am], Guest / Last Year Winner: Every Dog Has Its Day [ge], Special Guest: Psychonaut 4 Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 15-25 GEL ELEKTROWERK 1 Monk Gabriel Salosi I Turn May 11 ARA Start time: 20:30 Ticket: 15-20 GEL
GEORGIA TODAY MAY 10 - 13, 2019
International Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival Held for 18th Time in Georgia BY LIKA CHIGLADZE
he 18th edition of the Kolga Tbilisi Photo Award, the biggest and the most prestigious photo contest in Georgia, was officially opened in a former cable station on Rustaveli. The opening ceremony was preceded by a photo exhibition on Baratashvili Bridge. Photos in the categories Documentary Series, Reportage, and Conceptual Photo Project were exhibited at the venue. The illuminated spiral building of the historic cable station hosted photo enthusiasts and public on the evening of May 3. The attendees ascended the circular staircase of the cable station to see works displayed in categories Best One Shot and Best Portrait. The award ceremony was roundedup with a concert from Georgian band The BearFox. This year, the winners of the photo contest were chosen by an international jury. At the event, the winners in the following categories were revealed:
BEST REPORTAGE: MUSTAFA HASONA A photographer from the Gaza Strip, Palestine, Hasona now works with the Anadolu Agency AA, having worked as freelancer for AFP, REUTERS and been selected by The Guardian for the Best Photographer 2014. Through his images, the photographer showcases Palestinian protesters on the border with Israel demanding their rights to return.
BEST DOCUMENTARY PHOTO PROJECT: FAUSTO PODAVINI Podavini is an Italian born photographer. He presented a series of Lake Turkana that has been declared "World Heritage in Danger" by UNESCO. In 2009, he began collaborating with the Collective WSP, where, in addition to work as a photographer in collective projects, he works as a professor of Photojournalism.
BEST CONCEPTUAL PHOTO PROJECT: KATE MELLOR Mellor, a fine art photographer based in the UK, plays with the idea of architecture ashero,exploringtensionsandriftsbetween the building and its surroundings.
THE NOMINATION ONE SHOT, DIVIDED BETWEEN TWO WINNERS: JELENA JANKOVIC AND NIGEL DICKINSON. “I came across the Kolga Tbilisi Photo catalogue online,” Jelena Jankovic told GEORGIA TODAY. “I saw amazing photos and amazing authors, and decoded I wanted to be part of this festival and exhibition. I decided to apply to the contest with my image ‘Selfie-culture,’ which tells the story of the selfie culture, how it influences people and social networks. I think this theme is important, since the growing selfie-culture has begun to determine our lives. By constantly showing where we are and what we do, we miss the opportunity to enjoy the moment, real life. My photo tells the real story and my message that it’s time to focus on our real lives.” Jankovic is primarily engaged in docu-
Photo: Winner of One Shot Jelena_Jankovic_Selfie Culture
mentary, freelance fashion, conceptual and experimental photography. Her photographs have been published in such magazines as Rolling Stone, National Geographic, Professional Photographer, and ELLE. In 2018, she published her first book about the traditional dance of Serbia. Nigel Dickinson, a British born documentary photographer, photojournalist and filmmaker working for over 35 years, focuses on the environment, human condition, marginalized communities, sustainable development, identity and culture. His winning image was ‘An effigy of Prime Minister Theresa May at ewes Bonfire, Bailing Out a Sinking Brexit Ship, To Be Blown Up During Firework Display.’
NEWCOMER AWARD: JOHANNES GLINKA The winner of NEWCOMER AWARD was 23-year-old Johannes Glinka from Berlin. In his work, he focuses on social political issues. The photographer pictured refugees at Central Station, mainly from Afghanistan, trying to get to Europe via Hungary. In the interior shots, the people are anonymous whereas the portraits show the personalities behind the faces.
MOBILE PHOTO, BEST PHOTO SERIES: LORENZO MANGIALARDI The winner, through his images, shows the sad story of his mother who had breast cancer and underwent several surgeries. She is still having chemotherapy. “I photographed her and my family from the day of the first surgery,” Man-
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gialardi said. “I hope I don’t have to photograph anything anymore.” The Kolga Award prize fund of $7,500 was equally divided between the winners in the first three categories. The winners of these categories received $1500 each. The Best One Shot and The Best Portrait categories winners got $1000 each, while the Mobile Photos Series category winner was awarded $500. The winner of the Kolga Newcomer Photo Award was also given $500. The main goal of the Kolga Awards is to link international photography to Georgia and to local photography. Announcement of the Photo Award worldwide intends to foster its international position and to facilitate the professional development of young photographers and help them to pave the way in the world of photography. “We were given the old cable station space to organize the exhibition in, showcasing the photos of two categories of the contest,” Founder of Kolga, Beso Khaindrava, told GEORGIA TODAY. “The public can see the works of remaining nominations on Baratashvili Bridge. The festival incorporates a number of exhibitions on different themes at different locations, so anyone can attend at least part.” Within the festival, ongoing until May 10, around 19 international and local group and solo exhibitions have been opened at different locations in the capital. As part of Kolga, other highlights include workshops, discussions and meetings with foreign photographers. The Kolga festival counts over 18 years’ existence and annually offers series of
Journalists: Tony Hanmer, Zaza Jgarkava, Maka Bibilashvili, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Vazha Tavberidze, Nugzar B. Ruhadze, Samantha Guthrie, Amy Jones, Thea Morrison, Ana Dumbadze, Ketevan Kvaratskheliya Photographer: Irakli Dolidze
photo expositions. This year the festival presents following exhibitions: Sputnik Photos (Poland) - Lost Territories: Control, Marc Riboud (France) -The Compassionate Eye, Karl Mancini (Italy) - Ni Una Menos, Photo Chronicles by Ivane DvaliI (Georgia), GAMMA Images (Georgia) - Transitional Narrative, Georg Katstaller (Austria) Intending Georgia, Ostlook Platform (Germany) - How to Deal with History?, 90'x Collective (Georgia) - Stolen Stories, Zeinab Barnovi (Georgia) – History, William Osgood Field – 1929 Field’s trip to Georgia, Young Georgian Photographers, Mariam Amurvelashvili (Georgia) - Take Me Home, Graziano Arici (Italy) - Tales of Venice, Thomas Rabsch (Germany) - All Eyes on Me, National Geographic (Georgia) - Planet or Plastic? Tales of Islands (Kate Mellor, Osamu James Nakagawa, Marc Raeder, Sanne De Wilde).
member of Saqinform, the Soviet Union’s information agency and who was regarded as a master of constructivism. His photographic artwork is a distinguished heritage of that period, reflecting Soviet Georgia’s reality in the 1950s and 70s. Dvali was granted the year’s Alexander Roinashvili Prize as one of the best photographers of Saqinform, an author of constructivism art photography and industrialization, who has contributed significantly to developing photography.
WILLIAM OSGOOD FIELD – 1929 FIELD’S TRIP TO GEORGIA
William Osgood Field was an American researcher who traveled to Georgia in 1929. He lived in Zemo (Upper) Svaneti for some months and also visited Khevsureti and Kartli (high mountain regions of Georgia). During the journey, Field took many photos and made documentary movies. All the materials, approximately 200 photographs and almost two-hours of original film, are preserved in the US Congress Library (Washington, D.C.) and US Geographical Society Archive (Milwakee, State Wisconsin). With the permission of the Congress Library and Geographical Society, these digital archival material and his films have been brought to Georgia to present them to the wider audience. This year, as an exception, at the end of photo festival, Kolga Tbilisi Photo will host Norwegian photographer and member of Magnum Photos Jonas Bendiksen’s photo display The Last Testament.
The National Archives of Georgia is hosting the photo chronicles of Georgian photographer Ivane DvaliI , who was a
For more details about the exhibitions, visit the KOLGA TBILISI PHOTO facebook page.
MARC RIBOUD May 4 featured Marc Riboud’s exhibition. The photographer traveled to Georgia in 1992 and depicted the daily life of the citizens. He spent three weeks in Tbilisi, a city he fell in love with. During his stay he saw the mosque, synagogue and Orthodox church coexisting in the center, proving that Georgia is a country where the Orient and the Occident have always mixed and where the three religions live together in peace.
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May 10 - 13, 2019