(newyorker.com) At a time when many journalists in post-Soviet states have turned their attention to the encroaching threat of Russia, the photographer Dina Oganova has continued to document life in her home country of Georgia. Inspired by the Georgian photographer Yuri Mechitov, Oganova began studying photography in Tbilisi, the nation’s capital. Oganova prefers her subjects to be strangers, and she told me that most Georgian people readily agree to be photographed. “They don’t understand that a photographer is a profession,” she says. “Everyone loves to see how I make the photos.”
Oganova, who is twenty-seven, has seen a lot of change in Georgia. “I was a child when the first war started here,” she told me, referring to the 1992–93 war in Abkhazia. “Of course, I didn’t understand during that period. We called it a civil war, but now I understand that it was war with Russia. It’s crazy, but I can’t go to Abkhazia because I have a Georgian passport. When we had the five days of war with Russia, in 2008, we lost South Ossetia. No one said that it was a war; everyone said that it was a conflict. But I can’t say that. When a lot of people die, when you lose your friends, it’s not just a conflict. It’s a war.”
Above is a selection from “I am Georgia,” an ongoing project that Oganova began in 2007.
All photographs by Dina Oganova. more here >>>