Just a few weeks ago, a new book, Frida Kahlo: Her Universe, was released, which includes photos of the personal belongings of the legendary Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Throughout her life, Frida
Untitled Gallery Tbilisi is announcing a residency program for Ukrainian queer artists together with Project Fungus and the Ria Keburia Foundation.
The residency program will run from April 20 to 30, and 5 queer artists will work on pre-announced themes, with an exhibition scheduled for May 1st. Ukrainian artists have until April 11 (18:00) to register for the residency program.
“The terror that we are all experiencing in the region is intensifying fears in different directions. In this situation, queer people and artists face one of the greatest challenges and traumas: they face the self-discovery of what it meant to be queer in the context of this warlike attack, have hopes and fears about how to build a life out of ruins, what awaits the recognition and protection of their basic human rights, which depends on who wins the war.
Mutation and solidarity will be the two main topics that the artists think will about while living in the residence of the Ria Keburia Foundation (Kachreti). For 10 days, 5 queer artists from Ukraine will work on these topics, followed by a presentation of the works and a 10-day period ending with an exhibition. After that, a public discussion will be held at Untitled Gallery in Tbilisi,” – reads the statement published by Untitled Gallery Tbilisi.
During the residence period, accommodation, meals and transportation from Tbilisi to Kachreti and back will be provided by the project organizers.
“The craziest project we’ve ever had! The voices of Gori Women’s Choir are already on the moon!” – reads a post from Gori Women’s Choir official Facebook page.
With the support of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration – NASA, SpaceX and Astrobotic Technology, Incandence Corp has created a digital archive called the Lunar Codex, which will be sent to the moon. The digital archive will include various works by artists from 90 countries around the world. Gori women’s choir was selected from Georgia. The author of the idea for the Lunar Codex is Dr. Samuel Peralta.
By the decision of the artistic director of the group, Teona Tsiramua, three works were selected for the project – composer Ioseb Kechakmadze’s “Exercice”, “On the Road to Lashari” and the Georgian (Abkhazian) song “Varado”.
All three songs were recorded on Leno Records. You can listen to them on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. All works to be sent to the moon will be placed in the 2nd capsule and will land at the destination in 2024.
Tbilisi Pride recently announced a new venture to the audience, which aims to update the queer entertainment in the post-pandemic period, create a platform to support queer artists and raise funds to empower LGBTQI+ people.
Stream for Pride is an online streaming series whose listeners will be able to transfer money from all over the world. It should be noted that the money received from the first stream will be fully transferred to help Ukrainian LGBTQI+ people.
The first stream of Tbilisi Pride was recorded in Cafe Gallery, and the space was designed by visual artist ATIRAMA. The streaming series will be held periodically, and in the first stream you will be able to listen to the artists – NASI, GWÄN and 2HS (CrimeB2BSpeedball) -for this, on March 31, at 20:00 in the evening, you should watch the pages of Tbilisi Pride, KyivPride and InterPride. Queer has also joined this initiative, so you can listen to the stream on our Facebook page as well.
Georgian Writers, Publishers, and Translators Release Signatures to Resign PM
“Georgian writers and publishers demand the immediate resignation of the Prime Minister of Georgia for betraying the state interests due to immoral statements and actions!
In this difficult situation, it is inadmissible for our country to be represented by a person who does not express the will and interests of the people!
Praise be to Freedom!
Glory to Georgia!
Glory to Ukraine”! – It is written in the statement issued by them
The statement is signed by:
Irakli Kakabadze (Yaki Kabe)
Nestan Nene Kvinikadze
[List will be updated]
Influential Balenciaga Fashion House Has Joined the Word Food Program in a Humanitarian Donation to Support Ukraine.
Information about this was spread on Balenciaga’s Instagram page.
“We support peace and will be donating to WFP to provide first aid to Ukrainian refugees. Soon we will open our platforms to cover current events in Ukraine” – can be read in the official statement of the fashion house.
Balenciaga is a fashion house founded in 1917, the creative director of which since 2015 has been the Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia.
Photography has always surrounded the lives of LGBTQ + people. It is impossible to deny the importance of photography as an art form – be it documenting the facts of the fight or the moments during which we are coming closer to equality. It seeks to reduce the sense of difference that queer people experience and to remind heterosexuals that the queers are also ordinary people.
In this article, we present 8 queer photographers, whose creations you can see with on Instagram:
1. Laurence Philomene
2. Emmie America
3. Vic Lentaigne
4. Kito Muñoz
5. Kostis Fokas
6. Heather Glazzard
7. Clifford Prince King
8. Mengwen Cao
Main Photo: Kostis Fokas
Nita Gogritchiani is an illustrator and a graphical designer from Georgia, who graduated from the Multimedia Faculty of the Academy of Arts and completed a graphic design course at the Academy of Digital Industry.
As a child, she used to draw, but as she says, illustrating isn’t something she had always dreamed of. For 13 years she was involved with music and everyone around her expected that she would study at the conservatory, but during her final year she decided to study something new.
“I gave up music and decided to study at the Academy of Arts. It was a serious challenge – I only had 3 months to prepare for the exam as I didn’t even know how to properly hold a pencil in my hand. My teacher, parents, friends – everyone was extremely worried, but I did quite well on the exam. If I had make a choice all over again, I would choose the same exact path.”
She has tried different techniques and she feels the most comfortable with digital art. In 2016 she took a big step and received her first orders, as she painted portraits of people. Finally, it’s been over 2 years that she has been working as a graphic designer.
“I remember my first day at my first job. It was quite stressful. I was working for a famous, leading company and I felt a great sense of responsibility and trust. I can say that most of my experience and knowledge is thanks to this job and to the fellow employees, rather than the studying itself. Soon I was offered a different job too. So, I’m very happy with my choice.”
She doesn’t have much time to create any personal work. However, as Nita says, whatever she does always comes from the sadness, anger, happiness and other emotions of her friends and herself. She often uses her art to protest some important issues.
“In one historic district a small park was about to be demolished, and in protest, German and Georgian artists made some quick sketches. My friend and I became so interested in this concept and idea that we became active members of it. We didn’t only get to learn about Georgian regions, but we also sketched a German city and its problematic zones.”
As she says, she never searches for inspirations purposefully. The stories of other people’s experiences just stick with her in her mind. That’s also where the idea to create a series of illustrations – “Talo” came from, which you can view on Instagram.
“People often tell me that they see themselves in this character. Many think that She’s me, but that’s not true. I didn’t think about her being me when I was creating her. In the beginning of the pandemic I took an animation course, where we were given a task to create a character that we would bring to life. One glance of that character should tell us how they fell. They should make you think about those things that you haven’t thought about before, without any debates. Moreover, when everyone perceives my creation differently, that makes the process more interesting.”
During her process she likes to listen to Georgian artists. Most frequently she listens to Inola and as she says, it’s impossible to listen to her and not get inspired. The working process brings her a lot of pleasure and often she doesn’t even notice how the day has passed, she gets so involved in it that she doesn’t even feel tired, which is something that she hasn’t experienced anywhere else.
As for the future plans, Nita wants to see what she can do abroad too. She wants to find out how people work in foreign markets and to gain various experiences. Her dream is to participate in the real work process of creating an animation, which, as she says, is quite difficult and time-consuming.
The Georgian artist also shares some great advice for beginner illustrators:
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how much time you’ve spent in a different field. If you feel comfortable with what you’re doing now, don’t be scared and don’t hesitate. Be sure to try everything that you’ve ever wanted and you’ve ever been interested in. People often don’t choose Graphic design because they don’t know how to paint. In fact, this job doesn’t require a lot of experience in that. The sense of composition and colors will also be developed in the working process. While I was at university, I purposefully avoided getting a stable job, because I wanted to acquire knowledge first. I was scared that I would fail at something. However, this hesitation only prevented me from acquiring valuable experiences. So, don’t be scared. The main thing is to try!”
Tbilisi International Film Festival is over. The winner of the competition program was Otar’s Death by Soso Biladze, and 2 works won the best documentary award – Tatia Skhirtladze’s Glory to the Queen and Salome Jashi’s Taming the Garden.
In the foreign films section, a number of films by famous or novice directors were shown, among which were a number of films based on the experiences of the queer community members. In this article, you will read about the 4 films that participated in the Tbilisi International Film Festival, that depict queer relationships.
Paragraph 175, under which homosexual men were sent to concentration camps in Nazi Germany, ended the lives of more than 10,000 people. According to this paragraph, the castration and the elimination of the defendants was a common practice that did not cease with the end of World War II. This article was finally repealed in 1994, but many changes were made to it. Up until 1969, men convicted under this article were sent to prisons, with the purposes of re-education in West Germany.
After the end of World War II until 1969, 100,000 people appeared in court on charges of violations under this paragraph, and up to 50,000 were imprisoned. Great Freedom is a tribute to the victims of vicious practices that affected homosexual men living in West Germany. The film tells the story of Hans, who was repeatedly imprisoned during three decades for homosexuality and was the victim of cruel, degrading treatment and expulsion. The title of the film communicated the main point of the movie – the love story that takes place in the midst of absolute cruelty tells us about the victory of love in the remnants of the Nazi period, which is a sign of gaining freedom in the kind of environment where you least expect it.
The story of Benedetta, who was admitted to a Catholic monastery at the age of 9 and who goes through the process of mastering the manipulation of the blind faith of others or believing in the idea that she was chosen by god is amazing to watch. The 83-year-old famous director, Paul Verhoeven, aimed to study the need for power, to tell the story of the vices of the church and the sexual self-knowledge of a woman in the patriarchal world. While watching this movie you will laugh, feel awkward, you will witness the tragic stories and you’ll have a lot of questions for which there are no direct answers.
Charlotte Rampling plays the role of a temple leader who uses the service of God as a business, seeks to consolidate power, and uses the idea of consecrating Benedetta as a living saint for personal gain until she realizes that this weakens her authority. The events take place during the Black Death pandemic, in which the Catholic Church appears to be an apostate institution, in which those power are enjoying their lives and punish those that seek such privilege, which also offers interesting commentary on the reality of the today’s pandemic.
Benedetta, the bride of Christ, will embark on a path of sexual discovery after Bartholomew, a victim of sexual and physical violence, settles in the temple. Benedetta, who oscillates between the erotic revelations of Jesus and the passions for Bartholomew, does not shy away from the manifestations of cruelty to suppress her own desires and to prove to others that she is the Lord’s chosen one, which intensifies her desires and gradually makes her aware of the possibilities. Verhoeven destroys the notion of good and evil, and by the sudden transformations of the characters shows that all the concepts we have are unstable. Throughout the film, you also realize that there is no absolute truth, all actions are complex and inexplicable, containing in themselves opposite, destructive intentions. We probably won’t get to see Benedetta in Georgian movie theaters, but hopefully the film will be available online soon and you will be able to see with your own eyes the story of the destructive power of power, envy, passion, betrayal and blind faith.
The Girl and The Spider
Photo: Zürcher Film
The Girl and the Spider is the wistful film on this list, which does not have a direct meaning and instead gives the viewer various hints. That’s why, this movie is perfect for those that love to solve puzzles. A film about changes and losses will leave the viewer feeling uncomfortable and empty, which is something that always accompanies loss.
“Lisa moves into a new apartment, but Mara stays behind. When the process of moving the furniture and the boxes begins, the emotional rollercoaster starts to unfold. A tragicomic film. A poetic ballad about change and evolving connections.” – We read in the description of the film, which gives us only a small idea of this remarkable cinematic experience.
The film tells us about how cruel silence can be and how hard, impossible it is to connect with other people, what kind of unnoticed details reveal that great emotional flow that can destroy everything. While watching the movie, you will collect many trifles, as if you’re solving a puzzle. However, at some point you will realize that human relationships are full of broken details and that all of it can never come together.
The Hill Where Lionesses Roar
Photo: Le Pacte
The Hill Where Lionesses Roar is a 20-year-old director’s film is about three friends who live in a real, hopeless, frozen-in-time Kosovo as they can only think about one thing – to somehow escape from the city that is slowly destroying them.
Three girls that live in a cruel environment and have nothing other than the friendship with each other dream of a better life, spending their days in anticipation. However, they don’t have the power to change anything, their country is lost in chaos and full of corruption, crime, patriarchal cruelty, all of which makes it even more difficult to escape. That’s why, he only relief for the three young friends is the formation of a herd of lion cubs, which allows them to vent their anger and frustration.
There is not even a spark of hope in the whole film, and the friends are on their path to crime. The only clear point is the manifestations of sensitivity among the girls who grew up in a violent environment, which helps them overcome the violent experiences at least for a short time.
Famous American poet, writer and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, is the first black woman to appear on a U.S 25c coin. The coin started circulating on January 10.
Janet Yellen, the first female secretary of the US Treasury Department, responded to this story by saying that when changing the design of a currency, one is always given the opportunity to say something important about one’s country – how it develops and what its values are as a society.
The 25-cent coin also features images of other American women who have left an indelible mark on history.
Angelou’s first novel, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was widely acclaimed, describing her childhood and how writing and literature helped her deal with racism as well as life traumas. This work has also been on the list of banned books.
Maya Angelou, who is an author to 36 books, spent her life fighting for civil rights and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. She has received over 30 honorary awards, even receiving the Barack Obama presidential medal. She also supported marriage equality.
Maya Angelou passed away in 2014, at the age of 86.