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Exhibition on River Kochki Organized by REC CAUCASUS

By Mariam Chanishvili
Monday, January 22
Exhibition “River Kochki”, organized by the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus), was held at Goethe Institute in Tbilisi on January 18.

The work of the photographer Natela Grigalashvili was presented, including a short movie about the river Kochkiand the pollution issue. The exhibition was supervised by Tamuna Ghvaberidze.

The photographer worked for three months in Gorelovka village and nearby areas to photograph the polluted river banks, as well as the clean area of the river, where it has still maintained its original look. River Kochki is one of the examples of rivers’ conditions in Georgia. River Kochki originates from Madatapa Lake and crosses a village Gorelovka, where it is polluted by solid waste and sewage that flows from neighboring farms and dwellings.

The Director of REC Caucasus, Sophiko Akhobadze thanked Goethe Institute noting that the goal is to use this exhibition as support for decision making mechanism and to implement future projects.

The photographer stated her wish to hold an exhibition in Gorelovka and show the locals and schoolchildren her work, hoping this will help in raising awareness and growing consideration of the issue.

“Population used to bathe and fish in the river. With my works, I wanted to express my emotional state about the issue. Our country is very rich with nature and resources and we have to take care of it. This is an example of how we treat the nature,” said Grigalashvili.

Natela Grigalashvili was born in Khashuri, Georgia. Her childhood dream was becoming a cinematographer but photography turned out to be a medium that brought more comfort and freedom to the artist. She was introduced to photography in various studios and became established as a photographer after working independently for years. From the 1990s, Grigalashvili has been participating in different exhibitions and art projects.

Grigalashvili was awarded the Alexander Roinishvili Prize for her contribution to Georgian photography in 2007. Her photograph the Son of a Fisherman was chosen by National Geographic for Your Shot category in 2013. She mainly creates photo series and implements long-term art projects. While working on photo series, Grigalashvili focuses on the story which is told by the image.

The famous series are: Georgian Village, Javakheti, the Dukhobors, Azerbaijanis in Georgia, Animal Market, Traditional Holidays, Pankisi Gorge.

The exhibition was supported by REC Caucasus, Goethe Institute, Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S.

REC Caucasus is an independent, non-for-profit organization, established to assist solution of environmental problems as well as development of the civic society in the South Caucasus countries. The mission of the REC Caucasus is determined as “to assist in solving of environmental problems in the Caucasus region through the promotion of co-operation at national and regional level among NGOs, governments, business, local communities, and all other environmental stakeholders, in order to develop a free exchange of information, in line with the principles of the Aarhus Convention; offer assistance to all environmental NGOs and other stakeholders; and increase public participation in the decision-making process, thereby assisting the states of the Caucasus in the further development of a democratic civil society”.

The charitable foundation Zeit-StiftungEbelin und GerdBucerius is registered in Hamburg. Its aim is to fund projects in research and scholarship, arts and culture, as well as education and training.