The Tbilisi Photo Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary this year by maintaining its focus on urgent contemporary themes affecting the region while showcasing important historical rediscoveries.
Amid the continuing conflict in Ukraine, the festival presents new work by leading Polish documentary photographer Justyna Mielnikiewicz – a series of powerful images of how life is lived surrounded by the current turmoil.
Marking the 60th anniversary of Magnum co-founder Robert Capa’s death, the festival is proud to display the remarkable photographs that Capa took during a his 1947 trip to Georgia with author John Steinbeck.
Also on show are Davide Monteleone’s pictures exploring post-war identity in Chechnya, and images a hidden history of photography in Soviet-era Georgia by Rezo Kezeli and Boris Shaverdyan.
The Tbilisi Photo Festival brings the best of world photography to the heart of the Caucasus, the ancient crossroads of Europe and Asia. Continuing its tradition of creative diversity, on show this year is work Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Italy and Belgium.
The festival also presents the best photography the Caucasus and the surrounding region to the world. This year it has a distinct Polish flavour, with Justyna Mielnikiewicz’s new exhibition on Ukraine, a lecture on contemporary photography in Poland by leading Warsaw-based curator Adam Mazur, and the open-air projection of work by photographers the renowned Poland-based Sputnik collective at the annual Night of Photography, the festival’s showpiece nocturnal event in Tbilisi’s atmospheric Old Town.
This is the Tbilisi Photo Festival’s second major event marking its fifth anniversary this year. In May, the month in which the festival was held in previous years, the exhibition The Real World by the renowned British Magnum photographer Martin Parr and Lithuanian Rimaldas Viksraitis, who won the Arles Festival discovery prize in 2009, was held in Tbilisi. It was the first time that Parr’s work has been exhibited in Georgia and was accompanied by workshops for people with disabilities mentored by Rimaldas Viksraitis.