Imaginary world: A personal documentary (2013-ongoing)
It all began with skateboarding.
I was born and raised in Tbilisi, the small capital of a small country, Georgia.
Life was hard in Georgia, a poor country plagued by a recent history of conflict.
When I was around six, my parents bought our first TV set that included a surprise gift — foreign channels. They were dubbed in Russian, a foreign language, but I was mesmerized.
I used to sit in front of it and watch cartoons all day. At some point I realized that there was at least one child with a skateboard in nearly every show.
As I watched, these colorful heroes defied the laws of physics and, before I knew it, I was hooked. In my imagination, I could see myself flying through the air and skating on streets that did not exist.
These bright dreams stayed with me, like a favorite toy you rediscover, years after it fell under the bed.
The memories of my imaginary self gliding down streets on a skateboard returned to me when I was 15. I was old enough to buy my own skateboard, a metal one.
Some time later, in 2013, I got my first camera. I began taking photos of everything and everyone around me. My skateboarding friends were a natural subject. That was the beginning of this project.
By 2015, the project became more serious as I decided to expand my subjects. I started to photograph as many teenagers as I could. The result is an ongoing documentary of the lives of young Georgians, a window into their thoughts, feelings, wants and fears.
Imaginary World aims to document the life of the Georgian youth. The project uses visual language to communicates the problems facing society and the political system. Most importantly it asks the question: What it is like to be young in Georgia?