As a former Soviet republic, Georgia is in a historic moment where most youths want to replace the old Soviet mentality with the new, modern way of thinking and tend to shift to the Western lifestyle.
It is a generation that in recent years has launched several movements, among them many protest movements to demand social and civil rights to be protected.
Pictures symbolically portray the birth of this distinguished generation from the heart of massive structures built during the soviet union times— buildings that in my project are metaphors of that Soviet mentality where individuals did not matter.
Location: Medea sanitorium, was constructed between 1954 and 1962 in Tskaltubo, West Central Georgia. It was initially used as a sanitorium. After years of being abandoned, it became a place for Abkhaz refugees later in 1993. The sanatorium's capacity was 326 when it was established.
Irakli, 18 years old, was born in Kutaisi and is a history student. He is a member of the Athletic Federation of Georgia for javelin throwing. In this field, he has won three national championships.
Statement: "Georgia has a great future in everything. For this purpose, the new generation is doing everything, and I hope that all this will be justified, after which Iberia will shine again."
Location: A dome-shaped abandoned reservoir in Tbilisi. After its construction, it supplied clean water to some settlements. Its diameter reaches 40 meters. There is a hole in the top where the hatch is, forming a structure similar to a disk-shaped spaceship.
Georgi, born in 2000, is currently a student-athlete. As a professional Judka, he has won two bronze cups in the world championship and Berlin Eurocup.
Statement: "I am glad that we are different from the previous era, but in our development, we should not forget our national values."
Born in 1998 in Rustavi, Ana studies pharmacy at the university level and works as a fitness trainer.
Statement: "We must realize that we all have a human constitutional right to any person, in any form, and no one has the right to restrict us in any way until we restrict someone else's freedom. A person should know what his right is and what violates his right. There are many aspects where we still do not have this culture and education in Georgia. The population of Georgia is in dire need of a culture of acceptance, especially in light of recent news. Educationally and mentally, we are far behind the world, but this is changeable."
Location: Lavrenti Beria's Cottage in Kojori, a small town nearly 20 kilometers southwest of the nation's capital of Tbilisi. The building was built within the last century. It consists of eight rooms. According to legend, Lavrenti Beria's family often visited this cottage. There was talk that anti-Soviets were being tortured in the basement of this house, but since Lavrenti Beria let his family members rest on this agar, he refutes the abovementioned fact. The fact remains that his regime has killed many of its dissidents.
Lika, born in 2000, is a student of law and a known model in Georgia.
Statement: "I will be happy if our country will be more developed."
Location: A nonspecialized hospital in Gurjaani, a town in Kakheti, situated in eastern Georgia. The hospital was built in 1965 and stopped functioning in 2009 due to some building damage.
Born in 1995 in Kutaisi, Inga graduated with a degree in art. She is an introverted person from a divorced family. She was raised in Tbilisi and Greece. She struggled for years with depression, which prevented her from making art.
Statement: "In my country, there is nothing to do for young people. Old Soviet people are going to eat us alive. There is envy and endless violence and no solution for that. We fight for decades to be free, but where is the real freedom? It must be something inside of our brains, but we can't achieve it. We are full of fear, and it makes me sad."
Born in 1996 in Tbilisi, he studied business administration and PR. Currently, he works as a fashion marketer and copywriter. He lost his father when he was four years old. He considers himself a happy person who tries to enjoy life.
Statement: "We should all do whatever we feel passionate about! It's the mindset of our generation. Our generation has more freedom of choice and less pressure in comparison to our parents. Most of us have known freedom right from birth, and that's how we turned out to be more demanding of our rights and liberties, and whenever someone tries to limit us in any way, we start protesting as we can't adapt to limitations."
Location: Space technology center. This place began operating in 1980. In those years, Georgia was a part of the Scientific-Industrial Union Comet program, where it conducted full-scale experiments on various space objects. This center operated until 2000.
Born in 2000, Andrey grew up in Shavshvebi, a tiny village in Eastern Georgia, with his two sisters and childhood best friend, Tako. His main interests are art and cinematography, and he enjoys watching old French movies.
Statement: "Thirty years have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union regime, so it's not surprising to see such a difference between these old and young generations. Unlike our parents, we are not suffering from a lack of information, and we observe the world from a broader perspective. Soviet Union's regime could impact the mentality of our parent's generation, which is harmful to us to be a part of Western values. However, for our generation, the priority is to build an independent and democratic country that will tolerate every kind of individualism expressed by each citizen. I firmly believe that our generation will achieve the goal and will build the society without stereotypes."
Location: Apollo Movie Theater. Built in 1909, it is among Georgia's oldest movie theaters and the only surviving Art Nouveau-style cinema in Tbilisi. At the time, it even served as a film shooting location. From 1918 to 1919, the Apollo contained the small film laboratory of Alexander Dighmelov, a pioneer of Georgian cinematography.
Mao was born in 1998 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Six years later, she moved with her parents to her family's homeland, Georgia. She is a hip-hop dancer and is currently learning Chinese alongside her work as an office manager.
Statement: "Georgia has always been a warring country. In my opinion, the most significant and most crucial battle was won when it escaped the Soviet Union. After that, I believe nothing is impossible, and the next generation will be able to do a lot and change it for the better. Georgia deserves a bright future."
Location: Confidential. A bunker somewhere in Georgia. According to the journalist Irma Kakhurashvili, the fact that there are over 400 bunkers and air-raid shelters throughout the territory of Old Tbilisi alone proves that the Soviet government paid much attention to the underground architecture.
Tamarra, 25 years old, specializes in "social media and PR." Interested in different fields of art, including music, painting, photography, and video filming. Currently, she works with the musical band "Pitter J" as a producer.
Statement: "Georgia is a victim nation, constantly under attack of enemies, specifically Russia from the remote past. Today Russia occupies 20% of our country and illegally seizes our lands every day. After the formation of the Soviet Union, we had no more freedom or development in life. Our new generations instantly erase the traces of the Soviet Union to find more freedom, more art and development, and, finally, we will come closer to the system of the developed countries."
Location: Confidential. A bunker somewhere in Georgia. During the Soviet era, over 700 bunkers and underground tunnels were built and functioned throughout the country as a result of WWII and the Cold War. A vast network of underground bunkers that, on their own, are similar to a secret underground country! Some bunkers consist of more than 100 rooms, all equipped with medical and defense instructions and equipment.
Tornike was born in 1994 in Tbilisi. Although he has different hobbies, such as riding a bike and playing rugby, his main interest is urbex (urban exploration). He has been exploring the underground world in Georgia for several years—including abandoned places, old buildings, nuclear bunkers, etc.
Statement: "Our generation has changed, but they have forgotten values in Georgian culture. All generations must change and evolve, but national values must not be forgotten. The country and the people must develop, but the national culture should stay preserved."
Location: Sewing factory in Chiatura, located in the Imereti region of Western Georgia. The factory was built in 1969 to help jobless women in Chiatura. At the time, the factory was working with around 1500 workers. Of that number, only 100 were men, and the rest were women.
Saba was born in 2003, and currently, he is studying Archeology at the university.
Statement: "In my opinion, Georgia today has the most different generation compared to the previous ones; relatively free, developed, and more broad-minded. These characteristics will allow the country to move forward, and I hope the current generation makes Georgia better."
Location: Military center in Gombori located in Kakheti, eastern Georgia. It was built in the mountains during the Soviet Union era. The base was quite large, and it included residential buildings, a training ground, a cinema, and various military constructions—a secret place where rocket launchers were stationed.
Born in 2001, Liza graduated with a degree in graphic and web design. She has a connection with art as a singer and painter. At the age of twenty, Liza can't consider herself a happy person. "I prefer to be present and enjoy it rather than thinking about the unknown future," she says.
Statement: "I think the human can be free until he doesn't hurt others' freedom. Unfortunately, the mentality of the Soviet Union is impacting us until now. It makes us feel guilty when we are happy."
Location: Stalin's Underground Printing House in Tbilisi. It hides a series of tunnels where, in 1904, Stalin, as a young communist, printed magazines, brochures, and newspapers advocating to eliminate the Tsar. At the moment, this place is operated by the Communist Party of Georgia.
Deko (standing): Born in 1997, Deko studies journalism and works in a family business and in an art gallery.
Statement: "Nowadays, we encounter remnants of the Soviet Union everywhere, which may have come from grandparents. Georgian youth have some social restrictions and face certain barriers. This should have a solution, and people should think as they want, freely, I also want to be a part of this movement to live in a free country!"
Elene (sitting): Born in 2003 in Rustavi, Elene considers herself an unpredictable person. Her main hobby and interest is horse riding.
Statement: "Soviet-union was an isolated and secret union, and now it needs a time that Georgians break that shell and sort things out. There are lots and lots of aspects that need to be improved."
Location: Confidential; a bunker somewhere in Georgia. The underground facilities were built by the communists near schools, residential buildings, factories, and hospitals to ensure civilians' security. However, they were never used for their intended purpose since there were no military actions on the territory of Georgia during WWII, according to Irma Kakhurashvili, a Georgian researcher and journalist.
Born in 2001 in Kutaisi, Gvantsa currently studies psychology. She paints and writes fairytales. In her opinion, everything in life is a piece of art.
Statement: "Every epoch in history has a unique beauty, but it doesn't mean that it shouldn't change. Without a soul for living, both life and time are still and meaningless. All souls should continue growing. Every day is a new day, and we should continue to grow consistently."