Lately, I have been fascinated by the stories of the twentieth century women. I have seen terrible pain and struggle in their forgotten stories. This is how I discovered Kato Mikeladze, Babilina Khositashvili, Sopho Mgeladze, Elene Akhvlediani and other women, that overshadowed every other field of my interest and completely took over me with their stories. The stories of these women are not that accessible on the internet. The publications, poems and letters by Kato Mikeladze can be found in a book by Tamta Melashvili – “Kato Mikaladze: unknown stories of Georgian feminism”. Records and poems by Babilina Khositashvili are available in the collection – “Life between two waters”. Three novels by Sopho Mgeladze have been recently printed. Poems, stories and publications by Nino Tarishvili, Maridjan, Mariam Garikuli and others, are extremely difficult to be found on the internet.
At the same time, I got involved with the Georgian queer history. As expected, the resources on this subject are extremely scarce and hard to find on the internet. Tamta Melashvili elaborates on the reasons behind the non-existence of queer history in her article. Maybe, indeed, perceiving Queerism in a broader sense in the overall picture of the totalitarian, patriarchal and heteronormative past is the only way to create queer history. I am sure of one thing, there is something so queer about the women whose stories I read, and I can’t quite label them in any way. Maybe they don’t even need to be labeled? Maybe what our society needs now is an appropriate space and an ability to view the queer history from a new perspective, asking questions, understanding the vibes, which will all be useful for this process.
With these thoughts, I became particularly interested in Elene Akhvlediani’s biography and art.
I searched the internet and read everything I could find. At the same time, I looked at some of Elene’s paintings. In September I started a challenge – I would post one painting by Elene Akhvlediani and one poem by one of the women writer’s every day.