Lamara Abzhandadze is a 91-year-old blogger who responds to heated social or political topics through social media. She decided to study computer at the age of 87 because he did not have the opportunity to protest and physically attend rallies. Since then she has been actively advocating for minority rights and the idea of equality.
Here is an interview with Lamara Abzhandadze:
What problems does our society face today and what do you think is the responsibility of each individual to change our situation for the better?
Today our society is facing very big problems, the first big problem is the fight for self-preservation – this is the main problem, then comes the fight against nepotism, the fight against corruption, as well as selective justice, and it is very unfortunate that people are alone in this fight, without government support. We need to force the government to think about these problems and offer us ways to solve them. Otherwise, we should demand the resignation of a government that does not care and think about solving our problem.
Why did you decide to be active in social networking and how did this step change your life?
When I studied how to use a computer, I was 87 years old. I still did not have the physical strength to protest and stand up for justice, but I saw other people using social media to protest, so I decided to set a goal, learn computers and use computers to show my protest. I can’t imagine life today without a computer.
What was the life of LGBTQ people like in Soviet Georgia?
In Soviet Georgia, even talking about these people was forbidden, as if these people did not exist, everyone found it difficult to talk about these topics in public spaces, everything was happening in a closed room. I first came across this topic through my grandchildren. They explained to me who LGBTQ people are and what they are fighting for, after that day I also firmly believe that all people have the right to expression and existence. LGBT + people are just as full members of society as everyone else.
You are one of the active supporters of the idea of minority rights and equality, what do you think led to this?
For me the most important thing is the person and in so many years of life have shown me that not all people can be the same, however we have to fight a lot to ensure that all human rights are equally protected. The law must be one for all and it must protect our dignity and rights. We cannot divide and fragment society, it is our obligation to receive all members of society and to enable them to enjoy the benefits that most of us enjoy today.
Where does the hatred and aggression we encounter in our society on a daily basis come from?
In my opinion, the aggression we encounter in society on a daily basis comes primarily from our government, from people who do not shy away from openly expressing aggression towards journalists, opposition parties, towards each other during various TV broadcasts, the hatred of these people comes to us and the whole country lives after With this aggression and hatred.
How can you maintain love for yourself and people no matter what time or system you live in and who controls your agenda?
Only the person who has faith and love in oneself can maintain it, you can not love others if you do not have faith and love for yourself. No matter what time you live in, no matter what the circumstances, you should not lose faith in yourself, you should not lose the love and trust in yourself. Every time has its challenges, and the main challenge of people is to never listen to the voice of time and to manage their own agenda. So it is easier to develop and maintain yourself.
How do you deal with aggression from social media?
Aggression usually comes when I write about minority rights or the idea of equality in my statuses. I see a lot of insults in the comments, of course I get angry, but I try to explain to these people that minorities today especially need the support and acceptance of the rest of society. And those who have chosen hate speech, nothing from them can hurt me anymore. I personally left the language of hatred a long time ago, you can not find the words in my vocabulary – “I hate”, “I despise” and today I feel much better.
Given the political and covid situation, the feeling of hopelessness is especially high among young people today, and not only among young people, what would you say to people who think that fighting for a better future makes no sense?
Fighting for a better future always makes sense. When I lived and worked as a teacher in the Soviet era, I fought there as well, I always turned to Soviet norms and tried to teach the subject to students so that my teaching would be free from Soviet propaganda. There were too many such small contradictions then, and in fact such steps dissolved and shattered the Soviet Union. Even today we must not lose the strength of this resistance and all young people must believe that their steps are the most important because they shape the future of our country.