Sunday, November 30, 2008

I don't care about stess any more. I spend time trying to experience feelings. I am like something extremely light on a river.
"There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don't work. I wondered at this last night as I closed Drake's book. I knew it would take me years to forget John (Erskine), because it was he who first stirred the secret source of my life. "

"The hours I have spent in cafes are the only ones I call living, apart from writing. "

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Mr. Minister

A short documentary by Salome Jashi and Giorgi Tsikarishvili 'A Mr. Minister' is aired on Dutch VPRO television on November 17, 21:00.

This film shows the character of Bakur Kvezereli, 27 year old minister of agriculture. He is the youngest member in the cabinet of ministers led by Mikhei Saakashvili in Georgia. This ambitious young man claims there is nothing he dislikes in himself. Balanced with human feelings the film reveals one piece of the young and controvertial Georgian government.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meet Ossetian Gunmen in Perevi

We drove on a winding rode along a river up in Imeretian villages. There was this village Jria and we saw Georgian police standing there. Soon EU monitoring mission guys arrived. This is now the last village, one of the last ones along the new 'border', by which Ossetian militia stand. We passed Jria and drove up towards Perevi. This village, with Georgian population, is now occupied by some Ossetian gunmen. We saw green tent in front on a hilly part of the road. Before the tent, on the road, we saw some people in uniforms. We stopped the car and just walked towards them.

There were three of them. They were wearing military uniforms. They were holding 'kalashnikovs'. Two of them were sitting at a just-put-out fire and the other one, a blond guy, was standing behind them. It was a strange feeling. I do not want to consider them as my enemies. I think considering someone as an enemy is a radical solution of a conflict (or a dead-lock of a solution). Even after this war, I want to feel cool towards the Ossetian gunmen now appearing only meters away.

Moving towards them I had no fear but for a moment I had some kind of physical feeling. If I had not experienced fear previously, I might not have guessed that in fact this was a feeling of fear, which occurred in my body, but not in my mind.

As we walked, my friend told me to ask them, how long more they intend to stay. I thought this would be a very straightforward question that could cause aggression. Maybe for the very first time, I wanted to be extremely careful with questions.

Now we stood in front of them, these gunmen, and just the remains of fire was in front of us. We said hello. They seemed calm and replied calmly on everything we would ask. We asked when they had arrived. They said it two-three days ago. I asked where they were from. The blond guy was most active in responding us. But he smiled on this question. I asked if they were from Tskhinvali. First he said yes, then he said they were from Tskhinvali as well as from the villages of South Ossetia. When I felt they were not aggressive as I had feared in a way, I asked them until when they intended to stay there, in Perevi. The blond guy said he did not know, it could be even a year. We asked them to let us in Perevi. They almost laughed and said no.

This was their 'check-point'. Next to this put-off fire there were small stones laid on the road. The stones were laid in a zig-zag arrangement, making a vehicle to slow down. These stones and their arrangement seemed the most absurd element in this situation of somehow newly created borderline as a result of war in August in Georgia.

We did not talk much. There was still some kind of cautious from our side. But I felt I wanted to sit next to them on the benches arranged around the fire and chat. Then three other gunman came down from behind them. As now there were six of them, all in guns and named as enemies of the country I live in, it felt uncomfortable. We left.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A year after Nov7

This sticker got popular last year - because of immediate reaction and a good source for the image. After a year, does Nov7 still carry the same meaning as it had last year?

Today on TV there was this staged scene:

Cameras lined in one end of a living room. At the table of this seemingly poor apartment a thin man stands. Reportedly, he was brutally injured last year. He was the worst case, they said. That means he was extremely bitten up. And then, from a door in front of the cameras, the president walks in. As the flashes from photo cameras go, the 'former aggressor' and the 'victim' shake hands smiling to each other. The president asks: does it still heart? The man says 'no, no', with his nose almost touching his breast, meaning no, no, it's ok, don't worry... Then the president tells him, now, we have learnt the lesson...

This whole play looked so cynical. It was like the president shitting on that man and that man saying, I love when you shit on me and then learn a lesson from it. That has to do something with demands for self-sacrifice.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I returned home depressed today. I don't feel like smiling and I'm rude. I should change that. I wonder how I will live when I'm old and retired. How will I have money. I doubt I will have pension. I think the best is to buy some nice real estate by the end of my productive years and live on that income.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My towed box

As my car was sitting on the back of a bigger car, I was sitting in front, in that bigger car, next to a thin talkative driver smoking a cigarette without putting ashes away. The seat was stinky, to be honest, and I had my window open and my ear covered with scarf not to get cold as we drove the embankment. There was this large car mirror reflecting me. And I was thinking that the hardest thing to film, is to film myself.

While my car was being fixed, I had a chance to walk. Today I realised that I had been closed in this four wheel box and today I saw people. In that underground I crossed, everything was the way I had last seen several years ago. The same kind of high heel, up to the knee black boots were being sold. The same kind of characters, the same stereotypical beggars. If it were winter, it would have been more the same, because winter is the most vivid feeling I remember from years ago.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gori - August 10-12, 2008

She was smoking a cigarette very intensely. She called me. Said that their doctor was shot last night and his blood is now covered with those tree branches.

The military hospital was full the day before. That day it was only several pairs of military boots left behind and mattresses had blood stains.
Visiting that hospital on August 10th
was my first impression on war. The yard was full of doctors, soldiers and priests. There was this woman who was crying continuously asking for her son, whom she had not heard anything about for three days. I refused to go into the morgue but I could smell it.
Doctors seemed extremely tired. They told stories that could not correspond to their gestures and face expression. They spoke of things so much beyond visualizing.

We found several ID cards in the burnt down tank. And I met a young man later who had seen people burning in this car. This was very close to Gori, on the main road on August 12th. That day abandoned military vehicles were scattered on this road turned towards Tbilisi - a sign of surrender.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Close to Tskhinvali

I passed Gori yesterday. The apartment blocks that had been bombed were almost fully renovated. Some apartments that were completely destroyed and those that were damaged, all looked the same. Crumbling wooden windows were replaced with modern sound proof ones. The shop nearby that had been damaged, was also rebuilt as well as a house across the road. No physical trace of war there. These apartment blocks stand straight on the main road leading to Tbilisi.

Then we went north towards the villages. I saw part of Kvemo Nikozi and couple villages around it. From there Tskhinvali is so close you can actually see part of it - couple apartment blocks and factory chimney. This looks so strange, being so visible and so hostile. So close and so far away at the same time. From both sides. It's all about the people. Ethnicities have nothing to do about it. It's about how people understand the world.

Unlike Eredvi, Tkhviavi and some villages there, the damage is not huge in these several villages I saw south-west to Tskhinvali. Some houses are burnt down but not very many. Most of the houses were apparently robbed. We saw two locations where they were unmining the land. I heard a sound of explosion and that was of one of the mines. They seem to be everywhere.

One house we saw in one of the villages there belonged to a military doctor. That was the reason for burning it down - they say in the village. An old woman now sleeping on the survived balcony said she was promised her house would be rebuilt by December. Before that she was offered no shelter.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Speechless. aka Silent Faces. aka dadumomebuli. aka i don't know yet

“Speechless” is the working title of one of the 9 documentary shorts filmed in the framework of the project “10 minutes of Democracy”. Film director Salome Jashi has finished the production stage of her experimental short. 10 minute long documentary is an experiment with human faces. Can silent faces tell stories of horror that these people have gone through…

The film is an attempt to tell the story of the tragedy that cannot be expressed through words or dramatic images. Or it might be just a space -10 minutes of silent space that the author provides us to think about our own account of the terrible 5 days of war.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Monopoly on truth

Looking back in my notes I found an expression a friend of mine once used: "monopoly on truth".

Some individuals, moreover, some institutions claim they have monopoly on truth. The church obviously claims monopoly on truth. People who follow the church in Georgia also claim this truth, relyin to their inspirer church. The political idology preached in Georgia also claims monopoly on truth and those high position officials, including the very high one, claim absolute monopoly on truth.

These "thruth"s intersect and while the civil monopoly on truth is weaker than the religion one in terms of followers, Georgia is an informal theocratic country eventually approved by mrevli (church followers), representing majority of 'the electorate'. During, rather right after the war, the church appeared to be much more effective than the government gaining even more authority.

I remember watching TV those days and there was this woman in the church yard making this emotional, crazy statement: "I feel... I feel that St. Marry has not abandoned us" (ve vgrdznob... me vgrdznob rom chven ghvtismshobelma ra migvatova). And this was in the news.

Today I saw portrait of patriarch of Georgian orthodox church Ilia II on a laptop destop of one of the journalists.

Welcome to THE Truth.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"I don't worry about happiness. It's an empty word anyway. Happiness, unhappiness, it's all the same. They should not be in the dictionary" - I think this is a fantastic quote among many others in Cronicle of a Summer by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morrin, an experiment for cinema verite.

Learning to fuck (reference to Cx.Sh. magazine)

After month and a half war is still an issue. Of course. no surprises. But it has really faded away. Emotions have deffinitely faded away. But what's left after the emotions? The same routine life that was before the war. The same blaming against Russia, the same nationalistic self-satisfaction. And the government taking no responsibility for what has happened. Neither the majority of people taking any responsibility for what has happened. And another 'wave' of propaganda music videos.

It is sad how primitive life can turn sometimes. At times I thought it was just me being primitive. Now I think it's a characteristic of every single person. The communication between people here is so fregile. I'm tired of misinterpretations. I want the myth of magnificent Georgian nation, as percieved here by many, be completely broken down. I want to see frustrated faces uttering confirmation of their mistakes.

I feel sad to see that magazine cover basically saying Fuck Putin while we the people living in Georgia fucked ourselves (well yes, Putin is also an issue of course, but not of Georgian national judgment). Why does everything has to turn political.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Today I found a book entitled "Hard to Be Georgian, but Essential" written by Father Giorgi, a blind priest - "qartveloba dznelia, magram aucilebeli" (please tell me how to type in Georgian on this blog). I would love to read about the essentiality of being Georgian. I find this crazy and scary.
Today I found one more person who shares my point of view. She suggested to do something. What? 'do something' is so abstract and does not lead anywhere.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

my first blog

A month has passed since the war is over. But it's not all over yet. This blog is to express how desperate I am living in this country. Here, I want to protest and explain.