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All we want is peace

By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Thursday, March 26
“I was outside at that moment and that is why I survived. But my 13-year-old brother and grandma died in the house. My sister had her face burnt and lost her sight,” Dato Kekoshvili from Gori remembers. This is one of the memories children from Gori have of the Russian aggression.

A UNICEF-supported exhibition of photos taken by children from Gori and nearby villages was opened on March 26 at the Amirani Cinema Hall. Each exhibited photos reflect children’s emotions towards the damage caused by the August war in Georgia.

“The pictures presented at this exhibition are amazing and well reflect the pain and sorrow these talented young photographers experienced during the conflict days and afterwards,” Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Georgia stated at the exhibition ceremony. “Most of these children may not become professional photographers but the skills they have gained and the sense of self-confidence they acquired during the photo workshop will somehow influence their lives,” she added.

Workshops for around 20 children aged 10-17 from the town of Gori were organized by UNICEF and local NGO Biliki. They began in October last year and were facilitated by UNICEF photographer Giacomo Pirozzi, who was excited by the children’s hard work and highlighted that working with children was very pleasant.

The children introduced invited guests to their photos with pleasure and were glad to receive their own cameras as part of the project, claiming they will continue taking photos in the future as well.

“My photos show how people live after the war and what they feel and worry about,” 11 year-old Omar Baliashvili said. “I lived through the war and thought Gori would cease to exist. I saw a destroyed and burnt out Gori on TV and thought I would never be able to go back home. But the burnt out houses were reconstructed and some of the families have even returned to their homes,” he said.

Melano Pisadze took a photo of the sky, the Sky of Gori. She is happy that she has returned home to Gori and hopes that the sky will always be as nice and calm as it is in her photo. “I took a photo of the sky as it brings peace. Every time I look at the sky I become comfortable and calm. I feel bad when I see burnt out houses and shops. I never thought something like this could happen to Georgia,” Melano said.

20 panels of children’s photos and comments will be on display at the Amirani Cinema Hall for one month.