Six years ago Paata Tsulaia decided to completely change his life. The former kindergarten director, 54, decided to start farming in a small village in Georgia's eastern Ladogdeki region and created an eco-farm with a focus of reviving lost varieties of wheat and other crops.
Reviving the wheat fields
What do children do when the whole world is in isolation due to the coronavirus and they have to spend all their time at home? Do they go to online classes? Do they call friends? Improvise on the piano? Sunbath on the balcony? Or do Wushu in unexpected places?
Their earth chronicles
Today, young girls face a myriad of stereotypes seeking to dictate how they look, what they wear and how much they weigh. These 'rules' are defined in beauty magazines and enforced on Instagram – as well as by girls' peers and family members.
I will pay you 50 GEL for every kilo lost
The house, built in the mid-19th century in the center of Tbilisi, is on the verge of disappearing. This house is like an old ship, still floating after all these years. It is a reflection of a historical memory of the city, and has survived earthquakes, revolutions, civil war, and soil erosion. It is one of many such houses in the city but it is special for those who grew up there. How do houses, which were created artificially as a place to live, affect our perceptions? What does this house say, through the words of its residents?
Until the rain starts
Once a year in the villages of Kakheti in eastern Georgia, men sew their own clothes. They cut lambskin leather and colorful ribbons; they make huge masks studded with pumpkin seeds to imitate horns and teeth. Far away on the other side of Georgia in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, men put on women’s clothes and dresses, braid their hair, and apply makeup. They then walk into the center of the village to celebrate and improvise a play. This tradition has gone on in Georgia for centuries and is called Berikaoba. The word comes from “Berika,” the name for an ancient Georgian deity of fertility represented by a goat, and “-oba,” meaning “festival.” Berikaoba is traditionally celebrated before lent, and is permitted by the Georgian Orthodox Church. Around the world, similar traditions have been observed for hundreds of years, such as Maslenitsa in Russia or Carnival in many Catholic countries. Like them, Berikaoba makes a strong impression with its colorful costumes; particularly masks. Berikaoba is a men’s festival; the actors in Berikaoba’s impromptu street theater are always men, even though they may play female roles. The stories they re-enact are not only tied to religion, but also to important historical events for Georgia’s various regions. In Samtskhe-Javakheti, Berikaoba is also a celebration of the defeat of a Turkish Pasha and the end of Ottoman rule over the region, which lasted for three centuries. In Kakheti the celebration is connected with the legend of Maia Tskneteli, a famous Georgian folk hero. As legend (and a popular Soviet-era film) have it, the beautiful Maia killed a local landlord when trying to resist his advances. To escape punishment, she cut off her braids and disguised herself as a man, leading a band of outlaws which freed slaves and stole from the rich to give to the poor. In both cases the celebration is connected to a centuries old pre-Christian tradition of celebrating the end of winter and beginning of spring (some locals believe that how well they celebrate Berikaoba has an effect on their harvests in autumn.) But that is where the similarities end; local customs and rites for celebrating the festival differ widely from region to region. In Berikaoba, the pagan and the Orthodox Christian, the social and the political, and the complex nature of masculine identities flow into one another, uniting as one in a colorful and unique celebration.
A Day Like No Other
A new generation of Russians is moving to Georgia, especially to the capital Tbilisi. They are coming in growing numbers despite the fact that they face extra social handicaps as Russian citizens: the legacy of Russia's aggression in Georgia has left a residue of tension even though the two peoples remain close.
Here and Nowhere Else
For centuries the Batsbi proudly populated the highlands of Tusheti, in north-eastern Georgia. Their language, Bats - also known as Tush-Tsova - was part of that pride. Bats belongs to the Nakh family of Caucasian languages, like Chechen and Ingush; but since it is not mutually intelligible with either, it is unique.
Little remain of that glorious past. The Bats, is inexorably fading, threatened by demography and assimilation with the Georgian language. Unesco lists it among the “severely endangered” languages, estimating the number of speakers to be 500. Almost all of them live in Zemo Alvani, a village of 3,000 people down in the lowlands crossed by the Alazani river, where the Babtsi settled in the 18th century. And almost all of them are over 50. Since Bats is not taught at school, what the odds of the language surviving for generations to come?
Filmmaker Anna Sarukhanova set on a quest to find under-30s able to speak the language of their ancestors.
Georgia: Goodbye to a Language?
It’s a religious group, which, like others, attracts followers with its promises. But the main reward of the Georgian Christian Evangelical Protestant Church -- avoiding Georgia’s compulsory military service -- comes in this life rather than in the hereafter. The Church, registered by the Girchi (Pinecone) Party in 2017, offers male Georgians between the ages of 18 and 27 the chance, as allowed underGeorgian law, to suspend their compulsory, year-long military service by becoming clergy. It has no other faith.
Georgia: Searching for Salvation from Military Service
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many Russians who openly opposed the regime fled to other countries. More than 30,000 have found themselves in Georgia as they sought to avoid political pressure and sanctions. Their arrival, however, has not been universally welcomed as Russia occupies 20 percent of their host country's territory. Mitya, a young Russian activist, provides insight into a newly formed Russian community in the Georgian capital that is trying to establish itself during these uncertain times. Mitya and his friends have to prove they are victims of the Russian government, not aggressors...