Kolga 2019 Impressions

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It was a fabulous week, the opening of Kolga Tbilisi Photo 2019 – with 18 exhibitions, workshops, portfolio reviews and a great audience eager to see, discuss and celebrate photography. There was classical and new work, Georgian photography or international projects – on display in various locations from the historical Karvasla to the art palace, from the urban Artarea Gallery to the underground of the city council building.

All in all there was so much to explore. This festival is a celebration of photography – and a perfect opportunity to meet the local photography and art scene.

Tamar in Tbilisi

Finally … we are happy to confirm that our book „Tamar, Where Are You?“ has arrived in Tbilisi. From now on you can find it in the wonderful gallery Fotografia at 21 Revaz Tabukashvili Street. So if you’re in town, go check it out.

IMG_3514And while you’re there, also have a look at  the great work they are offering by Georgian photographers such as Dina Oganova, Guram Tsibakhashvili, Vakho Khetaguri or Yuri Mechitov … and there are many more to disvover. When it comes to photography, Fotografia is definitely the place to go when you’re in town.

Oh – and the gallery comes with a little coffee shop, where you can get a really good cup of coffee … brewed by hand.

Kolga Tbilisi Photo 2019

Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival 2019 - OpeningHere I am back in Tbilisi to join local and international photographers and photo enthusiasts for this year’s edition of the Kolga Tbilisi Photo festival – which was sent off to a good start yesterday with the award ceremony at the former cable car station in Rustaveli Avenue.

Presented by Nino-Ana Samkharadze, Manager of Kolga Tbilisi Photo Week, winners and runner ups of all categories were presented – before the evening was brought home musically by local heroes The BearFox.

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April 9, 1989

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It’s the day of the Soviet crackdown in Tbilisi. 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries … Georgians took to the streets to call for independence from the Soviet Union, but were violently dispersed by the Soviet Army. Photographer Yuri Mechitov was out on the streets that day to bear witness of what was going on …

Two years later, on March 31, 1991, Georgians voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence and on April 9 of that year, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia proclaimed Georgian sovereignty and independence from the Soviet Union.

Today, April 9th is a public holiday and is remembered as Day of National Unity in Georgia.

(Photo: © Yuri Mechitov)

Nice to remember

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So this was one year ago: I had come to Tbilisi with a bag full of working prints and a head full of ideas – which I brought to the studio of book designer Otar Karalashvili. In the following weeks we would discuss, edit, design, fight, you know, just the usual stuff it takes when you’re making a book. But then, at the end of my first stay in 2018, we knew where this was supposed to go, how all the works would come together – to become Tamar, Where Are You?.

Sometimes it’s just nice to remember …

 

 

Alex Berdysheff

Alexander Berdysheff

Starting the new year where I left the old one: with Alex Berdysheff, who is not only the owner of the kettle I was so fascinated by when I had the chance to stay in his studio  – see my last article on this blog. Above all Alex is an amazing artist and painter who you can find most of the time working in his studio.

But for him too, success in Georgia can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there’s an interested, knowledgeable audience visiting exhibitions and openings and paying tribute to the work. Unfortunately, tribute is often all they will, there’s almost no market, which is why for Alex as well, fortune can only be found beyond the borders.

Please check out his work on his web site  – and find his and more stories like this in our book „Tamar, Where Are You?“,  which is still available here

Alexander Berdysheff

Kettle Cam

Alexander BerdysheffRemember the earlier days of the internet and web cams? There was the coffee cam, a camera set up at the University of Cambridge, England, which was the inspiration to the world’s first web cam.

When I was in Georgia working on our book project, for several times I had the opportunity to stay in the studio of a friend, the amazing painter Alex Berdysheff. There, one of my morning routines was to make some toast and coffee or tea, which I would then enjoy up on the the roof where there was a beautiful balcony.

And I was fascinated by the color and the sounds of the electric kettle – so, reminiscing about the old coffee cam I set up the camera and watched the kettle do it’s job … 🙂

It was only later that I would find out that this was a fairly common Tbilisi experience because this or similar kettle models would be featured in quite a number of Tbilisi households.

Read Ost

Great way to end the year for us … „Tamar, Where Are You?“ is introduced today on the German blog Read Ost – saying it provides an introduction to contemporary Georgian photography. Thank you.

BTW, you can still find the book here

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Ost Journal

Ost-Journal-04-2018_01_72ppi_DSC_3448The German magazine Ost Journal is an ambitious project covering issues around Eastern Europe.

And the current issue 2018-04 features our book  „Tamar, Where Are You?“ … – with a very nice spread including works from almost all of our participating photographers.

In addition they published an interview on their website … thank you for the opportunity to introduce our project to their audiences.

Tamar awarded

DFBP18-19_Sticker-LonglistWhat a wonderful recognition: „Tamar, Where Are You?“ was awarded Bronze Medal at the German Photobook Award 18I19 in the category self-publishing.

Thank you very much to the jury for selecting our book for the longlist. But most of all, this is for the work, the help and the contributions of the following artists:

The photographers Dina Oganova, Giorgi Shengelia, Guram Tsibakhashvili, Natela Grigalashvili, Tinatin Kiguradze, Vakho Khetaguri and Yuri Mechitov.

The authors Ana Kordzaia-Samadashvili, Dato Turashvili and Giorgi Tabliashvili – including the translators Sybilla Heinze (German) and Natalia Buka-Peters and Charlotte Marsden (English).

The book designer Otar Karalashvili.

And last but not least the Georgian National Book Center and all our other supporters, who so graciously helped us make this book happen.

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