For nearly 30 years, hundreds of thousands of displaced Azerbaijanis rebuilt their lives in settlements in Baku and elsewhere in the country following.
Georgian mornings is a collection of personal photographs taken throughout my formative years as a photographer (2009-2013). The images strive to capture some of my very emotional moments in this particularly elusive time of the day. Most of the photographs are taken after sleepless nights, sometimes on my way back home from a long night out. I find a certain kind of romance in mornings like these. Empty streets and the absence of strangers bring a peculiar feeling of freedom to this otherwise repressed and controlled society.
When Silva Iosebashvili, 54, recalls her childhood, her memories are filled with the aroma of freshly baked matzah bread and fruit gardens. In her mind, she is walking with her grandmother through the neighborhood and can feel the heat of the bakery near the Tskhinvali synagogue.
Lost voices of the Georgian Jewish communities in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali
Shahnaz, 29, and her husband Huseyn didn’t want to have children yet—they were young and they didn’t feel ready to bring a new life into the world. They were enjoying each other and being a family of two.
In Azerbaijan, young, married, childless and marginalized
At times the life of Roza Tavdidishvili sounds like one of her fairy tales. Her story, like any good tale, starts in a time far away—the end of the 19th century—and includes a strong hero overcoming challenges to help the less fortunate and give a voice to the oppressed. It also includes a hidden treasure, rediscovered years after the hero’s death.
Once upon a time: A Jewish history in Georgia
An aspiring filmmaker tries to restore her fading childhood memories through someone else's travel stories.
One evening in front of a bar, Hunay bumps into an acquaintance, Benjamin. He recently visited her native country, Azerbaijan, which she had to flee in 2011 with her family for political reasons. A precipitous departure which has resulted in her feeling further and further removed from her hometown, family, and childhood memories every day. What happens when we can no longer return to our hometown, when our childhood memories are fading away? Can memories stay alive through someone else’s?
Iva Chitidze, a young filmmaker, and his mother explore their family’s unique past through the pages of the family photo album. Iva’s grandfather, an ethnic Jew, and his grandmother, an ethnic German, married in the 1930s despite many challenges. Through the memories preserved in the album, Iva’s mother recalls her past and the family’s efforts to preserve the culture, religion and traditions of two nations.
This edition is produced with the support of the Israeli Embassy in Georgia.
To see the full project click the link.
A family album
Paintings by Shalom Koboshvili reflect a journey through an unknown time and space that gradually faded away. At the end of the 19th century, the Jewish community in Akhaltsikhe was defined by its unique culture and traditions; Koboshvili’s masterpieces, which document the daily life of that community, are all that remain to show us how they lived. He created all his works during the last three years of his life when he worked as a guard at the Jewish museum - the same place where his works have been exhibited for many years.
The Guardian of Memories is a story about an ordinary man whose childhood dream came true in old age when he became the first Jewish painter in Georgia.
This film is produced with the support of the Israeli Embassy in Georgia.
To see the full project click the link.
Guardian of memories
Two young artists decide to be friends and not to worry about being labeled the “enemy”.
As skirmishes and battles fester on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the author of the film lives and creates with her Azerbaijani friend Aysel. Their friendship is unique because they are citizens of enemy countries. This film represents their daily lives and national problems, which they have to face everyday in their personal lives.
The attitude of their own societies is ambiguous. Nobody knows yet that a war will break out in September. Even though they are citizens of bordering countries, they have to travel safe, third countries to meet. They maintain hope - to visit each other’s homelands and never worry about being labeled the “enemy” - despite the situation on the border.
The film was prepared in August of 2020. A month later, the Armenian-Azerbaijanian war took away their friends. Despite the fierce emotions stirred by the fighting, they continued to stay true to their values and friendship.
With the start of the second Nagorno-Karabakh War, people in the country started to align into pro-war and anti-war camps. People who did not support the war were isolated and condemned by society.
The film's director, Atanur Nabiyeva, faced a similar situation during the war and decided to document how the dynamic played out in her family. After some villages were bombed, relatives living on the frontline also temporarily settled in the Nabiyev family’s house. The author positioned herself as a neutral party to this war, and sought to explore bigger conflict-related questions such as "Who is right?", "Is it worth human death?", "Could there be another solution to the conflict?" Sometimes her journey to find answers caused arguments with her parents. Atanur refuses to accept her parents’ views unconditionally and her position has irritated them to the extent that she feels "alienated" in the family.
This film was prepared with support from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) South Caucasus Regional Office. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of FES or Chai Khana.