ZAZA GATENASHVILI

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BORJGALI

Small Enterprise / after school program

Zaza Gatenashvili with 4 artisans / 11 students

2022 with Bram Vanderbeke and Andrei Georgescu

Pauline Thurn und Taxis photography

Mark Glassner product photography

Tamar Kiknadze & Maka Dvalishvili local support.

Collection launch with Bram  Vanderbeke 

Design Miami Basel June 2022

what is home?

Zaza creates objects that connect him to his roots. objects that are covered in archaic symbols carved deeply into the wood - relating to a world he has lost. this is not a sentimental notion but a critical part of his identity & that of thousands of Georgian IDPs 'Internally Displaced People'  from South Ossetia who are now living in a settlement near Tbilisi.Zaza is recovering memory - one movement of the chisel at a time - preserving knowledge while educating students & sharing the cultural traditions of his ancestors with the world.

Behind the hills

In South Ossetia, lies Zaza's home, Tskhavati. What is it like to know your hometown is so close and yet not be able to be there? Since 2009, Zaza has been living with other Georgians from South Ossetia in Tserovani, a settlement built for Georgians expelled from their country after the 2008 Caucasus conflict. South Ossetia is recognized as independent by only a few states, including Russia. The houses of Tserovani can be seen from afar, they all have red roofs and resemble one another. Internally Displaced People (IDP) is the technical-sounding name for people like Zaza. Two families have stayed in his home village, and his father still lives there too. But living in Tskhavati is not an option for Zaza as militias make life difficult for Georgians there. He is convinced that he will be able to return home within five to ten years. Life for Zaza and his community is about hoping for a new start back in their hometown. What does home mean? Among other things, Zaza finds it in the objects he has taken with him from South Ossetia.

Text: Susanna Koeberle

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