The ArtGora Forum and all the inspiring people I met there had quite an impact on me this year. We stay in touch through email and WhatsApp and one of the participants posted a call for submissions for the Batumi Photo Days – MirrorLand.

Having worked on trees and mirrored images a bit over the summer I felt drawn to apply and also got accepted. My pictures have been up on the walls of a street in Batumi, Georgia last month and will now travel for another exhibition to Korea.

Very exciting 🙂

The theme of the Batumi Photo Days is the MirrorLand, a concept that addresses the fake realities, created by the recent political situations, the transformed reflections that are presented by different private stories, countries examples, with the support of various media sources that in result develop wrong values and expectations.

Double standards that our society share with the false structures, lost and messed up meanings and values come across with the traditions and established rules. No time to stop no time to analyze.

The exhibition envisages to bring personal experience of the artists from around the globe, to reflect the issues in their countries, through their practices, things, and topics they want to bring up, in relevance to the main concept of the PhotoDays, such as injustice and fake reality, people are forced to live in, or any other significant stories that will make us stop and think of why we are here what can we do with our life, how can we contribute the world to make if a better place.

Each small drop, a small seed can change something, each small story can reach someone, and find a reflection in their hearts. It’s a matter of choice whenever we wanna live in reflection or reality.

The main show MirrorLand took place in an outdoor space in Batumi, Z. Gamsakhurdia 29, from August 30th until September 15th, 2019. And here are some impressions:

pictures provided by Batumi PhotoDays.

And as things go, one day during the exhibition I received a message from a German person I had been in contact with more than ten years ago about working in Ukraine, who went to Batumi for a short trip and recognized my name in the exhibition. 🙂

So, I’m happy my pictures were a part of this, amongst so many other wonderful photographers. Please download the catalogue below to see who else was in the exhibition and I will post more about the upcoming exhibition in Korea once I know the details.

Did you know there are whales alive today that lived before Moby Dick was written?
Do you know how long ago the oldest tree first touched another tree with its roots?
If we’re all connected, we all breathe in and out together. Can you experience that through a tree?
There’s no language, there’s just breathing when you touch a tree.
And you can feel everything.

Where is your favorite tree?

These pictures of trees were taken between 2000 and 2019 on four continents. All around the world we as humans know and are somehow connected to plants. We couldn’t survive without them, yet we often look past them. We focus so much on our modern needs, tech- nology, keeping up with what is demanded of us, that we often forget that the most import- ant things are right beside us. We need to protect our environment in order to sustain - we will not be here without trees and other plants. So in a sense they can never be taken away from us, they are something we will always have, else we won’t be here either.
They bring together past and present, they allow us moments of bliss and rest. They are our mirrors. Through their wellbeing we can see our own, the state of humankind. Will we be able to protect them? And ourselves?
from the catalogue

Batumi PhotoDays is an annual event that takes place annually in the harbor city of Batumi on the shores of the Black Sea, Georgia. The PhotoDays history has started in 2015 by united efforts of Ukrainian and Georgian teams a common event Odessa//Batumi Photo Days in Odessa in Spring and end of Summer beginning of Autumn in Batumi.

The event is a platform for photographers and anyone interested in this media. In the course of three years, with the efforts of our team, volunteers and photographers, the Odessa // Batumi Photo Days has become well-known event in different parts of the world, appeared on the international map of photo events and has implemented a number of special projects, both in Georgia, in Ukraine and abroad. During this period, both parts have been developed and transformed according to the needs and interests of their countries that actually showed different perspectives in each place.

Therefore, the organizers came up with an idea to separate the two parts in order to provide more diversity and better reference to the local needs. So, 2018 was the first year when the event was held under different themes and forms, but in a way reflect and contributed each other a lot.

The separated Batumi PhotoDays’ format is focused on creating an artistic platform that provides a possibility in a short period of time experience, exchange and improves new emotions and professional skills. It aims to focus on a small but professional scale, to create a unique alternative platform for artistic practice and future development.

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