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.
And 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.
Here 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.
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.
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?.
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 …
Remember 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.
So we finished the first round of presentations of our book „Tamar, Where Are You?“. We were able to show and talk about our book in Aarhus, Denmark, in Frankfurt, Berlin, Kiel and in Hamburg – and all there’s left to do now is to say thank you.
Thank you to everyone who invited us and provided us with a platform: