She was forced to leave her home twice. Now, Matsi Lvoveli could never imagine, that her life would be connected with enamel. Nowadays she’s an employee of “Ikorta”, a social enterprise, and her handicraft from Tserovani is quickly gaining popularity.
Eight years have passed since the war in August of 2008. The village of Tserovani, inhabited with IDPs, has slowly transformed into a town. Previously, the houses built for IDPs were all the same, but now their appearance has also changed drastically.
The August War is a name for the conflict escalation on the 8th of August in 2008, where Georgia was on one side and the Russian Federation on another. Abkhaz and Ossetian separatists were also involved in this conflict. There isn’t one definite position on the question - who started this war.
Some people have opened grocery stores and cafes, some help the village by mending shoes. Tserovani starts its own economic life, and a jeweller named Matsi Lvoveli is part of it.
Matsi has worked on enamel for 2.5 years. She’s an employee of “Ikorta”, a social enterprise. She is a biologist by profession and could never have imagined to be involved in jewellery. Today she is proud of some of her work.
“Did you know, that enamel does not require any art education? Everything comes together by practising with your hands to work with these little details.”
Matsi buys Silver figures, which are the base of the jewelry, in Tbilisi. Enamel ornaments are the result of her creativity.
After fixing enamel on a silver frame, the jewelry should be put in an oven to harden and prepare for the next step. Now it’s time to put some colors. These frames are important for this reason, not to mix up the colors.
Matsi couldn't imagine losing her home, which happened twice in her life. She moved from Tskhinvali to Akhalgori, when the situation escalated for the first time. After the war in August 2008, she had to move to Tbilisi. When Tserovani settlement was built, she gained a new home: on the first block, 6th Street, 24th flat.
“Ikorta” is also located near her flat, several streets away. It’s like a second home for Matsi. This social enterprise was founded in 2012, with the financial help of “Beteli” Organisation. “Ikorta” has been self-sustained after that.
“At first, I got involved in the project, and I learned about working on enamel. After this course one of the students would be left in the handicraft shop, and they chose me. I’m counting on a third year of working here,” - says Matsi Lvoveli.
Matsi also works in another direction, which is hinted in her pseudonym. Her real surname is Gochashvili. She has been volunteering for the movement “Faith and Light” for 20 years. This movement unites mentally challenged persons, their families and other interested parties. This international organisation is spread across the world in several regions. Georgia is in the region with Ukraine. Matsi has friends from the movement in Lvovi, Ukraine. Friends from Ukraine ask Matsi to compose songs, which are later translated into several languages and performed for their events. One of the songs she’s proud of is called “Don’t Be Afraid”.
After the armed conflict in the ‘90s, when Matsi lost her home for the first time, she managed and called her neighbor in Tskhinvali. They both told each other, that this conflict was wrong. They were able to remain in touch for a while. But the war in 2008 cut down the chances of contact. However, she doesn’t lose hope.
“A lot of time has passed, we live with this pain and it’s very hard. But I never thought, that everything is lost. I never thought, that we would never go back. I always hope, that we will return,” - Matsi is not able to imagine, how it will happen, but she is hopeful, that a new reality will find all the answers.