Drawing on our background in filmmaking and ethnomusicology, we decided to listen closer, spending a day in Georgia’s eastern villages of Zinobiani and Chantsliqure, interviewing locals and recording sounds.
Listening to Georgia’s Rural Soundscapes
We think of graveyards as the resting place for the dead; in fact, they exist primarily for the living. This is where those who remain grieve, perform rituals, and where memories become tangible as graves and tombstones. Mourning for loved ones who have left us is universal and creating spaces to preserve their memory transcends different cultures and faiths. Kutaisi’s Jewish graveyard is one such space for what remains of Georgia’s Jewish community. The cemetery sits on Holy Trinity Street (Tsminda Samebis Kucha), and is separated from an adjacent Christian graveyard by arecently built wall. Until a few years ago, cows grazed freely in between the two areas. On a regular weekday, silence reigns, broken only by the bells of the Georgian Orthodox church at the cemetery’s main entrance and the banging from a workshop which manufactures cemetery fences and metalwork.