In 1921 Georgia was occupied by the USSR, more than 70 years from then on Georgian culture would be decomposed by socialist doctrine. All matters of private and public life, including education and social welfare, were regulated by the Communist Party. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the establishment of a free market, it became difficult for many Georgians to find their way within the new circumstances. The reorganization of the state and the economic connection to the international community proceeded slowly. Those who did not catch up often slipped into precarious conditions, and state aid was very limited. The cultural heritage of the Soviet era is gradually being forgotten. What remains is the lack oprospects and a feeling of being on one’s own.
In the late 1950s, the Soviet government built large housing estates throughout the country in order to urbanize larger areas of their territory and thus counteract the housing shortage. Microdistricts were a basic planning unit whose housing blocks sometimes held 5,000 to 10,000 residents. Apartments were allocated to families by the government according to a fixed number of square meters per person. All necessary facilities such as kindergartens, schools, health care and grocery stores were available in the districts. Today, different social and ethnic groups from the middle and lower classes live in the buildings. As everywhere in Georgia, unemployment is very high.
I’ve been living in Tbilisi since I was born. The Georgian mentality is very different to the European one. The freedom that women have in Europe, we will not get as long as we are not part of it. As a girl, you need parents who support you, but there are not many. The role model is very deeply rooted in most people. I find it difficult to explain this problem to my foreign friends, because they often can’t understand. We all have our issues here, age doesn’t matter. I am happy most of the time, but I also have big challenges to overcome. One day I want to become a doctor. And if I want to get the best education, of course, I have to go abroad. My biggest dream is to study in Germany. After my education, I still want to return to my home country and use my skills there. This is the only way that something will change in this country.
„The Georgian mentality is very different to the European one.“
„My husband is a soldier, I am an artist. He fights, I draw.“
I live here with my mother and our five cats. During the Soviet time, it was easier to get a good job. My mother was a doctor at that time. I deliver food. One day I would like to leave Georgia. My dream is to live in New Zealand.
„We live here with our grandchildren while their parents earn money abroad.“
„Our town was built in the Soviet time by the Russians for the soldiers.“
„I am dancing traditional Georgian dance.
Life here is good.“
Life here is good.“