Kolga Tbilisi Photo festival to award best creatives, bring dozens of exhibitions to capital

A display featuring young Georgian photographers will present local talent at the festival. Photo: Giorgi Nakashidze.

Agenda.ge, 01 May 2019 - 17:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

Works by famed photographers, a showcase of young Georgian talent and displays centred around eastern European and post-Soviet states will all be part of this year’s week-long Kolga Tbilisi Photo festival opening on Friday.


Awards for the best photographic projects of the year will be coupled with the opening of the 2019 edition of the festival when photographers, curators, critics and general public converge to a former cable car station on Rustaveli Avenue in the capital.


Before the formal opening takes place at the location at 8pm, works by nominees in three categories of the festival will be displayed on Baratashvili Bridge, about half an hour’s walking distance from the spot.


At the Rustaveli location, nominees of two of the awards categories — Best One Shot and Best Portrait — will have their photos on show, while winners in all seven sections will be awarded.





The legacy of French photographer Marc Riboud will be celebrated in Tbilisi, a city he found to be a source of “uninterrupted joy”. Photo: Marc Riboud.


The categories are:


  • Documentary Series
  • Reportage Series
  • Conceptual Series
  • Best Portrait
  • Best One Shot
  • Mobile Series
  • Newcomer Photo Award

The latter prize also involves a chance for participants to be granted an art residency in the Georgian capital from Fotografia Gallery.


The selected artist will be able to work on a project of their choice and have access to the lab and darkroom of the Tbilisi-based limited edition print photography gallery.


Turning to its premise of being “exceptional for the number of powerful photography projects covering a wide range of topics”, the festival will then host over two dozen exhibitions at a diverse selection of locations over the next week.


Among the hosted displays will be one highlighting the legacy of Marc Riboud, a well-known French photographer and recipient of high-profile prizes including the Leica Lifetime Achievement Award, the Prix Nadar and the Sony World Photography Award.


Riboud’s work will be presented through the display The Compassionate Eye, curated by Lorene Durret and giving Georgia “its place among the countries loved by” the acclaimed creative.





A photograph by Mariam Amurvelashvili, who will bring his project highlighting the people sheltering street animals. Photo: Mariam Amurvelashvili.


The exhibition traces Riboud’s travels in the Middle East and Asia, a recurring route in the photographer’s life, to present moment captured in countries from Afghanistan to Lebanon to China.


The programme for the festival also has a date reserved for a showcase of nine young Georgian photographers in the basement of Mantashevi Rows, a historical Old Town location on Bambis Rigi Street on Mtkvari River bank.


In the exhibition, works by Nakanimamasakhlisi, Dato Koridze, Irakli Dzneladze, Mariam Sitchinava, Giorgi Nakashidze, Anna Tsitsishvili, Anka Totibadze, Nutsa Gamtsemlidze, Zaqaria Chelidze will be on display for festival-goers.


One of local photographers to have a separate focus on them is Mariam Amurvelashvili, whose project Take Me Home will bring stories of people giving shelter and care to street animals to viewers.


On May 7, works by Amurvelashvili will be brought to the Black & White Gallery on Gogebashvili Street and bring the attention of the public to the transformative effects of taking care of animal friends.


With my photography portraits I want to contribute and promote animal adopting. I often say if everybody will adopt one dog, there will be no street dogs at all,” Amurvelashvili said in summary of the project.

A day before Take Me Home goes to the gallery, German photographer Thomas Rabsch will take to the Amirani Cinema theatre on Kostava Street to display moments captured by his lens from stages of theatre and music.





A photo by Julia Borissova, one of the photographers whose work will be brought to the Kolga festival by OSTLOOK platform. Photo: Julia Borissova.


In All Eyes on Me, the photographer who studied communications design at the Folkwang Schule university will bring portraits of artists including Jamie Foxx, Jane Birkin and Pharrell Williams in their element.


In two other shows of the festival, the OSTLOOK online platform and the Sputnik Photos collective will focus on the subject of eastern European and post-Soviet space.


On May 5, the OSTLOOK display How to Deal with History? will show photos by a group of creatives curated by Jewgeni Roppel to “[reflect] eastern history and identity from their own perspectives”.


A day before, Lost Territories: CONTROL will be the festival’s exhibition by Sputnik Photos, turning the lens to “physical, political, and sociocultural terrain” the post-Soviet terrain and experiences it envelops.


In addition to exhibitions, well-known photographers and curators will take to Kolga Tbilisi Photo to review portfolios of professional and amateur creatives who submitted their works to for the event.


Organisers said participants could have a chance of receiving invitations to international exhibitions if their photos impressed the reviewers.


This year’s Kolga Tbilisi Photo will run between May 3-10. The full programme of the festival can be accessed here.