Saturday, February 13, 2010

PHOTOGRAPHY: IDPs from Abkhazia in Tbilisi: Lives' Shipwrecked. By Tamara Jalaghania (

Since 1993 and their expulsion from Abkhazia, 150 families of refugees invested a disused building, the former "Kartli" sanatorium, alike a shipwreck in the surroundings of an lake, the "Tbilisi sea". What is this weird abandon? Which horizons are they heading to?

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union (1992-94),the nationalistic upheaval and the ethnic conflicts in Georgia entailed the secession of the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In Abkhazia, around half of the population, i.e. 250’000 persons of Georgian origin, was forced to exile in Central Georgia.

Like many other IDPs, these men and women from the "Kartli" sanatorium live here, in the periphery of Georgia's capital Tbilisi, forgotten and as strangers in this isolated land. They form a community of uprooted, who practice solidarity as their sole mean of survival. When one follows them in their daily lives, they reveal and tell the meaning of their existences as exiles.

The collective centre where they live makes us think of a shipwreck, abandoned and deteriorated, suspended in time. The endless corridors, the crumbling walls, the washed-out number of these room-flats, such as hermetic boxes, illustrate the hazards of existence, the difficulty to reconstruct one’s destiny.

Tamuna Jalaghania is an independant photographer, an author of photographs which are on the edge between Arts and documentary, especially centered on humans and portraits. She is preparing a documentary film together with a French director on the Kartli sanatorium's IDPs, which will be called "Life in Transit".

Tamuna Jalaghania's Website -

On the same topic, see the article Portrait of Displaced Georgians: Current Situation and Prospects

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