On May 17, artist Andro Dadiani set up a meat basketball shield as a sign of protest in front of the Patriarchate building.
As Dadiani notes, this day represents the spiritual, national, cultural, Christian, social, and state defeat of the country by the Georgian Orthodox Church.
“10 years have passed since May 17, 2013. Sometimes we can’t find the names for tragic events, and May 17th is such a nameless day in our recent history, like April 9, November 7, June 20, June 13, etc. This day is the day of the spiritual, national, cultural, Christian, social, and state defeat of the country by the Georgian Orthodox Church. Desperation from that day made me lose my face and turned me into a person with a mask and pseudonym.
The main work the patriarchy is doing today is to scratch off and alienate people mentally, economically, and socially, so that’s why my friend and I set up a basketball shield made of meat, as a metaphorical portrait of this institution.
Homophobia is a means to highlight the country’s geopolitical orientation rather than a cultural needs of a Georgian person. In this context, equality is Western, and anti-LGBT movements are a sign of Russian, imperialist policy. In this confrontation, the Georgian Orthodox Church made a political decision and instead of supporting people, became a structural oppressor against its own people.
We have to pull out this silenced agenda into the public space; with frequent discussions, we have to bring back the real meanings into it according to the public need, while the clergy jumps even higher, conquering new heights in erasing the value of human and life”, – the artist explains.
Andro Dadiani thanks the Women’s Initiatives Support Group (WISG) for their cooperation in this work.