In March 2019 the team of the Social Design Studio, students and teachers, together with colleagues from the department of Cultural Studies set sails to Tbilisi. The excursion and research in Georgia was both based and triggered by the studio’s TRANSFORMA project dealing with collective dances of urgency in times of political suppression.
The excursion lead us to the Georgian capital which is undergoing a constant change in terms of political systems, not only since 1989 but starting with the Soviet revolution in 1921. One could state that almost every generation in Georgia is socialized in differing political conditions of existence. The neighbouring countries and their systems – Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia, Russia – again confront the country with particular challenges. This results also in a notion of Tbilisi as a space of freedom for younger generations, LGTB communities and others who are not conform to the ruling orders in that world region. The techno club Bassiani became an exemplary spot not only for these collective needs, in bringing together very diverse groups and subcultures and creating a critical mass with potential impact on the political system, partly because of the music but more by providing a literally free space. We also got a thorough insight into the existing programmes of art schools and their curricula in the framework of self-initiated programmes (CCA Center of Contemporary Art) as well as in formal institutions funded by the state (Free University). During a discussion with experts from the Soviet Past Research Laboratory, an NGO researching the past 100 years of Georgian history, we could inquire on the current status of the country and also, why particularly culture and education in general could gain an impact of provoking a change and critical self-reflection preparing the country for a productive future. Furthermore, we could set up a collaborative structure of exchange between CCA, Free University and University of Applied Arts Vienna. Students and teachers will join the Social Design summer school 2019 and students from Vienna will work in Tbilisi. Also, in the close future a cooperation with the department of Sculpture and Space is planned to further deepen the initiated exchange.
- March 2019
- Tiblisi / Georgia
- Social Design Studio in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Studies Guests: Wato Tsereteli (CCA)
- Irena Popiashvili (Free University)
- Giorgi Kikonishvili (Bassiani)
- Naja Orashvili (Bassiani)
- Irakli Khvadagiani (Soviet Past Research Laboratory)
- Mamuka Japharidze (artist)